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SDDC Announces Details of Short Open Season for Military Movers

July 19, 2013

The Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) has just posted the details about the Department of Defense’s first open season in years for new applicants to provide moving services. The announcement spells out the timeline for all the steps that will be required, but the first step is the most important one. Companies have just TWO WEEKS (until August 2) to complete a questionnaire expressing interest in becoming approved.

The questionnaire asks movers to name all employees, list all warehouses and pieces of equipment, and all local agents. The final question asks what functions the mover outsources. This is important, because the military has concerns about companies which have been essentially turning over all of their military business to another entity to “manage.” The new qualification rules have language that forbids outsourcing all of your functions.

Applicants must also provide five years of bills of lading or invoices, along with references, to demonstrate continuous experience moving household goods in the market you are applying for. The markets are: Domestic Interstate; Domestic Intrastate; International HHG; International Baggage; Boats; and Motor Homes. You may apply for more than one market if you have the appropriate experience. Companies currently approved for a market may also use this open season to apply to enter other markets.

After completing the questionnaire, companies not currently participating in DOD work will be invited to schedule an in-person interview in August at Scott AFB, Ill. to discuss their qualifications. This interview will help explain how your operation works, and identify which companies would bring additional capability to the military customers.

For all existing approved carriers, the annual re-qualification window will take place in November instead of December this year. Your CEO will need to log in and complete the Certificate of Independent Pricing and Certificate of Responsibility, as they do every year. Next year, SDDC plans an in-depth re-qualification for the 2015 cycle, with details to follow, but the command says it will be reducing the number of authorities each group manages. There will be a big meeting in St. Louis on Oct. 29 or 30 to discuss this, with more details in a month or so.

If you have questions, contact SDDC at army.sddc.safb.ppqual@mail.mil, but be aware that due to government furloughs, half of SDDC’s staff will be out on Mondays and Fridays, so responses may be delayed. If you are interested in military business, you must act quickly, as the deadline is in two weeks: August 2.