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AMSA Sets the Record Straight on Military Moving Costs in Stars & Stripes

September 24, 2015

Scott Michael, AMSA president and CEO, sent a letter to the editor of Stars & Stripes responding to a story about a reported rise in military moving costs.

“In response to your story, “GAO report says PCS costs rising even as number of moves drops,” the American Moving & Storage Association believes this report is misleading because PCS costs have actually fallen steadily since 2009.

The earlier period of time included the implementation of the DP3 program, which shifted a significant workload and cost from PPSOs to moving companies for counseling, shipment management and data entry. It also included the addition of full-value replacement and repair coverage on claims of lost or damaged items, another significant cost factor. Nevertheless, costs have decreased since 2009 under the DP3 program, despite the GAO focusing on the longer timeframe. It’s also important to note that transportation and moving costs are less than half the cost of the entire PCS program, with personnel costs accounting for a majority of the total. And transportation costs have been going down compared to the rest of the program. Furthermore, the GAO study is flawed because the military services were not able to provide all the data required.

Finally, the moving and storage industry has made substantial financial investments in improved service, which have resulted in higher satisfaction scores in surveys of those who have been relocated. Despite the decreases in moving expenses under the PCS program, service members are getting better service from movers than before. Simply put: any spending increases in the PCS program are not due to higher moving costs.

While the moving and storage industry supports prudent spending by the federal government, cutting the PCS program’s budget, which accounts for less than one percent of the Defense Department’s overall budget and is already on the decline, can only harm the ability of service members and their families to successfully move to and from duty stations or extended training.”


The American Moving & Storage Association, home of the ProMover certification program, is the national trade association representing the nation’s moving and storage companies, which provide household goods moving services, specialized transportation for sensitive freight such as computers and trade show exhibits, and warehouse storage services. AMSA has approximately 4,000 members, including domestic and international companies and industry suppliers, and supports programs and activities that promote consumer protection, professional development, safety, and operational efficiency. Find out more at ProMover.org and Moving.org.