SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Since November 2008, Department of Defense's reengineered household goods moving program, the Defense Personal Property Program, or DP3, has provided service members, federal employees, and their families with a higher quality move experience. This includes a more streamlined process of counseling and booking personal property moves through either the local transportation office or using the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, which is accessed via the website

Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Personal Property Directorate is the executive agent for the program, and officials remind everyone that the summer months can be a challenging time for moving.

Diligent planning, attention to detail, and flexibility are key to make moving during the peak season less stressful.

There are two ways to manage a government move based on local policies.

The first is the traditional visit to the local installation Personal Property Shipping Office to receive a relocation briefing and start the move process.

The alternative is to use DPS, which is accessed through the website, This website is the portal for DPS and the one-stop shop where customers can completely manage their move process without ever visiting a PPSO.

"We are committed to providing a first-class personal property moving experience for our customers," said Jill Smith, acting branch chief for SDDC's Personal Property Directorate Quality Assurance Division. "This year, we are repeating a well-known, but sometimes forgotten, tip: start planning as soon as you know you'll be changing duty assignments. Customers still need their PCS orders before beginning DPS self-counseling or visiting their PPSO, but planning ahead can help reduce many of the stressors associated with moving."

Customers using the portal for the first time will find online training videos and presentations explaining how to navigate through the move process.

SDDC offers Moving Tips

- Three key factors ensuring a less stressful move during the peak season are diligent planning, attention to detail and flexibility.

- Once you get orders, immediately start your moving process for a better chance to lock in your preferred pickup and delivery dates.

- Create a personal move calendar with checklists, phone numbers, dates, and important web links.

- Ask questions early. Accessing DPS can place you in direct contact with your commercial carrier to manage your personal property move. It is extremely important to keep your phone number and e-mail address updated.

- Requested pickup and delivery dates are not confirmed until you and your commercial carrier mutually agree on the actual pack and pick-up dates.

- Pack, pickup and delivery dates are normally scheduled on weekdays in which you or your designated representative must be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Longer hours may be required in some cases.

- After your move is completed, take a few minutes to answer and submit the 10 question Customer Satisfaction Survey. Currently, this survey accounts for 50 percent of TSP performance score until May 15, thereafter, it will account for 70 percent of TSP performance score. By submitting your CSS, you play a large role in keeping quality movers in the program.

- Starting May 1. 2014, allowances for Professional Books, Papers & Equipment will be limited to a maximum of 2,000 pounds (Members overseas will be grandfathered if orders were issued prior to May 1, 2014) and will exclude some previously allowed categories: personal computer equipment, memorabilia, table service, text books from schools and personal books, to name a few. Check with your local PPSO for more information.

Moving in the summer months is extremely busy with Memorial Day to July 4 being the peak of the peak. Since requested pickup and delivery dates may not be available during this time, flexibility is very important and building extra time into your schedule for unforeseen circumstances is recommended.

"If a customer has questions about their household goods move or needs help that isn't posted on the website, the installation PPSO can direct them to various resources," Smith said. "Based on the customer's branch of service, assistance could come from a household goods call center, a specific PPSO, or from SDDC's Systems Response Center if the issue requires DPS technical assistance."

For those who experience technical problems while using DPS, the System Response Center help desk is there to help. Call (800) 462-2176 or 618-220-SDDC, or send an email message to

DP3 originally launched November 2009 under the name Families First to 17 sites as DOD's reengineered household goods moving program. The name changed from Families First to DP3 in early-2009. This launch began the incremental replacement of the legacy Transportation Operational Personal Property Standard System.

Benefits in DP3 include full replacement valuation for damaged/lost household goods at no additional cost to customers; on-line claims filing and direct claims settlement between member/employees and commercial carriers; best value acquisition of transportation services (through the CSS); improved communications between customers, commercial carriers and military personal property offices; and a Web-based entitlement counseling option.

SDDC manages about 520,000 personal property shipments per year, of which about 225,000 moves are processed during the peak moving season which runs from May through August.