Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
/ Published June 14, 2021
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, supply shortages have been popping up in everything from lumber to computer chips to new cars. These shortfalls are likely to affect some service members and their families this summer during the typically busy permanent change of station, or PCS, season.
According to a newly released communiqué from the Air Force’s Personal Property Activity Headquarters, “Department of Defense demand this peak (PCS) season has greatly exceeded commercial industry capabilities, largely due to resource constraints associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Per industry, this resulted in a 25% decrease in their labor pool, resulting in (decreased) personal property movement capacity necessary to support private sector and government demand.”
To mitigate negative impacts on DoD families, the Air Force Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices are employing all available tools and options to accommodate shipment and delivery requests. Individual DoD services and United States Transportation Command leaders are working with commercial industry to modify business rules, adding flexibility to achieve maximum carrier capacity.
For those scheduled to PCS this year, there are some actions that can add more flexibility to your plans and help the Household Goods community with an expanded opportunity to move personal property:
• Get shipping requests in four to six weeks prior to the pickup window.
• Ask about expanding pack/pickup (a.k.a., “spread date”) windows from the current seven-day requirement to 14 days.
• Contact the assignments team to determine if they can postpone the move by changing the report not later than date.
Airmen can take more control over their move this summer by doing a personally procured move (formerly known as the Do It Yourself move). According to the communiqué, this option allows personnel to “control your move dates and ensure you have ready access to your property upon arrival at your new location. There are several PPM options, including one that reimburses up to what the government would have paid for the move and another where you could receive a financial incentive of 100% of the government’s constructed cost, plus fuel surcharge, and other (accessory costs).”
In addition to the old “rent a truck” PPM option, Airmen now have access to new modes within the commercial industry called portable moving and storage containers. These containers are dropped at the home, the service member packs them and the company picks up, transports, stores and then delivers at the destination. Some companies also offer a menu of associated services including full or partial packing.
Airmen can contact their local Personal Property Processing Office to discuss the benefits of a PPM. They can provide an estimate of the cost factors, describe the ins and outs of the programs and help determine if the PPM option is a good fit for each family.