By Mr. Mitch Chandran (SDDC)March 11, 2013
Service members, Federal employees and their families slated to move this summer can enhance their permanent change of station experience with proper planning, attention to detail and flexibility, ensuring a smoother move for their household goods.
Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's Personal Property Directorate manages about 520,000 moves per year, of which about 225,000 occur during the summer peak moving season.
"As soon as you receive your permanent change of station orders, you should start your move process," said John Johnson, branch chief for SDDC's Personal Property Directorate Quality Assurance Division. "Requesting your pickup and delivery dates as soon as possible will ensure a better chance of getting the dates you want."
There are two ways to manage a government move based on local policies.
The first is the traditional visit to the local installation Transportation Office or Personal Property Shipping Office to receive a relocation briefing and start the move process.
The alternative is to use the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, which is accessed through the website, move.mil. This website is the portal for DPS and the one-stop shop where members can completely manage their move process.
Members using this portal for the first time will find online training videos and presentations explaining how to navigate through the move process.
- The main thing to remember is be flexible with move dates and plan for unforeseen circumstances
- Your Transportation Office or Personal Property Shipping Office is the primary point of contact for customer service. It is never too early to ask questions.
- Once you get your orders and know the dates you want to move, immediately start the moving process. Contact your TO/PPSO to learn all options available to you, including a Personally Procured Move. The sooner you start, the better chance you have to lock in your preferred move date.
- Create a personal moving calendar with checklists, phone numbers and links to critical moving processes and information
- Pack, pickup and delivery dates are scheduled on weekdays. You or your designated representative must be available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You don't want to miss your move dates as this will cause unnecessary hardship on everyone and possibly extra expenses for you.
- Move.mil is the portal for the Defense Personal Property System and places you in direct contact with your moving company to manage the movement of your personal property. It is extremely important to keep your contact information (phone number and e-mail address) updated in DPS.
- Once your move dates are requested, they are not set. Move dates are not confirmed until you coordinate with your Transportation Service Provider (the company contracted to do your move) and a pre-move survey is conducted.
- You can request a reweigh of your personal property shipment at no cost to you. This is done when you are near or over your weight allowance.
- If you are making more than one shipment, make sure you clearly separate them at your residence. Packing and loading for multiple shipments should be scheduled on separate days to avoid confusion. You want the right items going to the right destination.
- If you have a delivery address for your personal property and want direct delivery, it is important to work closely with your moving company to arrange delivery and avoid your personal property being placed in temporary storage
- You can find the "It's Your Move," "Shipping Your Privately Owned Vehicle" and "Storing Your POV" pamphlets on the move.mil website. These pamphlets provide explanations on responsibilities for personal property and POV shipments and are a great source for additional moving tips to help you prepare for the move.
Moving in the summer months is extremely busy with Memorial Day to July 4 being the busiest moving time of the year. Since requested pickup and delivery dates may not be available during this time, flexibility is important and building extra time into your schedule for unforeseen circumstances is recommended.
"For questions or concerns about the moving process, the first stop for assistance should always be your local Personal Property Shipping Office or Installation Transportation Office," Johnson said. "SDDC remains committed to providing a quality personal property moving experience for DOD's service members, US Coast Guard, Federal employees, and their families."
If you experience any technical problems while using the Defense Personal Property System, the System Response Center help desk is there to help. Simply call (800) 462-2176 or 618-220-SDDC (DSN 770-7332) or send an email message to email@example.com.