Officials Acknowledge, Work on Solving Vehicle Shipment Issues
By Mark Diamond
Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., Aug. 4, 2014 Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command and U.S. Transportation Command are standing up a team of transportation experts this week to quickly address the most significant challenges and concerns military customers are facing when shipping their privately owned vehicles.
On May 1, International Auto Logistics, known as IAL, assumed responsibility for the Global Privately Owned Vehicle Contract, also known as GPCIII. Under the terms of the contract, IAL is responsible for processing, transporting and storing vehicles owned by military personnel and Department of Defense civilian employees bound for, or returning from, overseas duty assignments.
SDDC officials acknowledge the transfer to the new POV contractor did not go as smoothly as it could have. They want customers to know that SDDC is aware of and understands the issues some of them have experienced while shipping their privately owned vehicle, adding that solving those issues is the command's No. 1 priority.
They also want their customers to know what SDDC and U.S. Transportation Command are doing to help resolve these issues and facilitate a smoother and more effective transition to the new contractor.
SDDC serves as the POV program manager, whereas Transcom is the global POV contract administrator. These two commands work closely together in managing and monitoring this critical quality of life contract.
"We are well aware that our customers continue to experience challenges in shipping their vehicles," said Navy Capt. Aaron Stanley, personal property director for SDDC.
The Transcom contracting office and the SDDC program management office continue to provide program oversight, while daily performance is monitored by contracting officer's representatives, or CORs, assigned to vehicle processing centers.
Stanley said about three dozen CORs are globally dispersed to provide daily oversight of IAL operations. "According to the CORs, IAL is responding to their feedback and has begun to make improvements," he added. "That said, we believe that one unhappy customer is one too many. We want to assure our military and civilian partners and their families that SDDC, U.S. Transcom and IAL are actively taking steps to improve the POV shipping process for them.
“We will continue to use their feedback and observations as we work to deliver their vehicles during the busy peak moving season,” he continued, “and we apologize to those who have experienced frustrations during the initial months of the new contract."
Stanley said that although these challenges won't go away overnight, service members should know the steps they can take to help ease the stress of shipping their vehicles. Military personnel and DoD civilian employees who are experiencing delays with their vehicle arrival time should call IAL at 1-855-389-9499 and choose Option 2, or visit IAL's website at http://www.pcsmypov.com, he said.
"We must give IAL the chance to resolve an issue," Stanley added. "We understand our customers' frustrations; however, we are optimistic that once the peak moving season is complete, IAL can and will make the necessary adjustments to refine their processes and ensure a quality POV experience consistent with the quality standards reflected in the contract."
Stanley said rental car expenses are one of the main concerns customers have when their vehicle is delayed, and that they can be reimbursed for rental car fees incurred after their vehicle's original required delivery date is missed.
While the first seven days of rental car fees are handled by the member's local military or government claims office, he added, rental car fees incurred after the initial seven-day period will be reimbursed by IAL via an "inconvenience claim."
For military claims, eligible personnel may rent a car at government expense for up to seven days if their privately owned vehicle transported at government expense for their use does not arrive at the authorized destination by the required delivery date. Reimbursement is limited by law to $30 per day, with a maximum reimbursement of $210. Stanley said that authority expires on the date their POV is available for pick-up at destination.
"If a member is inconvenienced because of a missed required delivery date, temporary lodging and rental car expenses beyond the initial seven-day period are IAL's responsibility," he said. "IAL will review each claim on a case-by-case basis and, based on the circumstances, reimburse the member accordingly."
According to the IAL website, there are three options for filing a claim, including "Site Settlement," "IAL Claims," and "Inconvenience Claims," with each option offering a different level of service and convenience. For more details on each option, visit the website’s FAQ section
Stanley said that in an effort to further reduce the customer's financial burden, if a customer is inconvenienced because of a missed delivery date and cannot pay for a rental car, IAL has coordinated with Avis and Budget for direct billing from those rental car companies to IAL.
"As a military service member who has conducted many military moves during my career, I understand the stress involved in moving," he added. "Rest assured, SDDC will continue to do what we can to help lessen that stress on our military personnel and their families."