Shortages in a wide range of supplies, goods and materials triggered by the Covid pandemic is wreaking havoc on permanent change of station (PCS) moves. The Air Force announced that shortfalls in lumber, computer chips and even new cars is having an effect on service families who are scheduled to move this summer.
“Department of Defense demand this peak [PCS] season has greatly exceeded commercial industry capabilities, largely do to resource constraints associated with the … pandemic. Per industry, this resulted in a 25-percent decrease in the labor pool, resulting in [decreased] personal property movement capacity necessary to support private sector and government demand,” the Air Force’s Personal Property Activity Headquarters recently stated.
The announcement stated that the Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices are “employing all available tools and options” to meet shipment and delivery requirements. Defense Department agencies and the U.S. Transportation Command are working with industry to add flexibility in order to maximize carrier capacity.
Meanwhile, the service offered some suggestions for service members and families undergoing PCS moves this summer:
* Get shipping requests in four to six weeks before the pickup window.
* Ask about expansion of pack and pickup (also known as spread date) windows to 14 days, up from the current seven-day requirement.
* Contact the assignments team, and ask if they can postpone a move by changing the report not later than date.
Airmen also are advised that personally procured moves – formerly known as “do-it-yourself” moves – would allow them greater control over move dates. These moves also would enable them to gain access to their household goods more quickly than conventional moves. Portable moving and storage containers also are a good option. Some of these companies offer full or partial packing options.