On Saturday, March 14, U.S. Transportation Command issued an advisory to the moving industry to provide Defense Personal Property Program customers and their chain of command decision space in light of the Department of Defense’s March 13, 2020, ‘stop movement order’ halting most permanent change of station moves from March 16 through May 11, 2020.
The advisory directs moving companies to take no action on scheduled pick-ups or pack-outs of household goods until they confirm with the Personal Property Office responsible for the shipment that it should continue. Impacted customers with scheduled pick-ups and pack-outs should be contacted by their provider to inform them of the delay of their pick-up or pack-out. Deliveries of household goods, unaccompanied baggage, and non-temporary storage lots should continue as scheduled.
“This direction to industry gives our customers and their families some breathing room and decision space,” said Rick Marsh, director of the Defense Personal Property Program. “As the Department’s advisory was released late Friday, we didn’t want moving companies showing up at the curb on Monday without providing families time to talk to their chain of command, assess their personal situation, and consider their next steps.”
Customers who are impacted by the stop movement order should determine the way ahead in coordination with their chain of command—which may include seeking a waiver from their leadership to continue the relocation process—and local Personal Property Office. The Department’s stop movement order does provide the flexibility for exceptions to allow pack-outs and pick-ups to continue. “For example, in some cases, where a customer has a lease expiring or has sold their home, household goods may be picked up and placed into local storage until the stop movement order is lifted,” said Marsh. “This will be a coordinated decision with the customer, their chain of command, and the local Personal Property Office.” Service Headquarters are developing those 2 exception procedures now and existing exemptions for separating or retiring personnel are already in effect.
When household goods shipments are cleared to move, Personal Property Offices and moving companies are ready to support those shipments.
“In addition to our customers and their families, it takes a broad array of stakeholders—the customer’s chain of command, human resource specialists, logisticians, financial managers, and industry to make the relocation process happen,” said Marsh. “It’s important we give them time to plan, and give families time to think—particularly in a rapidly developing situation like this. The only reason the Personal Property community exists is to relocate DoD personnel and their families.”
Visit move.mil to read the latest guidance for Defense Personal Property Program customers.