Families first: TMO prepares you for summertime

  • Published
  • By Karenanne Beavers
  • 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Traffic Management Office
Summertime moving is fun, exciting and yes, stressful. The move, the planning, and of course, the new duty station. The key to a successful move is to educate yourself about the process of moving your personal property. A successful move is the result of planning and hard work by you and the Traffic Management Office. Military and civilian members must be aware that their personal property and transportation entitlements are constantly changing and are not always the same for each move. Don't rely on what you've heard or seen happen in the past; you need to know what pertains to your current move. It is important to contact your TMO professionals well in advance of your move date. Your initial appointment with TMO should be at least six weeks prior to your desired pickup date.

The Personal Property Shipping Office at Davis-Monthan AFB has been regionalized under the Joint Personal Property Shipping Office, Colorado Springs, CO (JPPSO-COS). The JPPSO, through WEB-based technology, books all shipments with the carriers; TMO no longer controls that part of the process. JPPSO also took control of all inbound shipments into DMAFB. This means they schedule your deliveries, not TMO. JPPSO's toll-free number, 1-800-771-1819, should be saved for your use. TMO's new direction is "full attention to customer service and quality-control inspections."
Some common questions you may have:

Do I contact JPPSO to find out where my shipment is?
Yes, use the 1-800-771-1819 phone number to trace your shipment. The JPPSO-COS data base is voice activated, all you have to do is tell the system which area you need to talk to. (e.g. I need inbound and the phone system transfers you to inbound.)

I'm inbound to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. What do I do about getting my household goods delivered?
Call the JPPSO 1-800-771-1819 phone line to set up your delivery. TMF can and will update your records with JPPSO-COS and enter your new address, telephone numbers and other pertinent in formation you provide.

How far in advance should I contact TMO?
During the Summer rush, which usually runs from May through October, plan on least 30 to 60 days in advance. "Even an initial phone call helps alleviate problems", says Staff Sgt. Christa Yazzie. Be sure your initial counseling is scheduled at least four weeks in advance of your pickup date to give JPPSO Colorado at least ten (10) working days to book your shipment with the carrier.

What are your customer service hours?
The TMO hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, TMO will stay open as long as necessary to get you moved and settled. Effective June 1, TMO will provide personal property entitlements counseling to military members and their families on Saturday, if needed, to handle the Summer Rush. Local moving companies may start packing as early as 6:00 a.m. and work as late as 9:00 p.m.

How do I go about arranging my move?
Call or visit your TMO to make an appointment for your personal property entitlements counseling; this begins the process to get you moved. Before visiting TMO, sit down with your family and plan the move. TMO has developed an excellent form for you to use. Please stop by and pick it up.

Bring two copies of orders to TMO and they will set up a counseling session. Once all dates are known and the type of shipment is determined, TMO will make a final entitlements counseling appointment for you.

When is the best time to move and are there any secrets to reducing the stress associated with making a move?
Normally everybody tries to move the first and last week of the month. Scheduling your more toward the middle of the month is better as there is less competition for the carriers.

Do not disconnect phones or terminate leases until you secure you final pickup dates.
On packing and pick up days, it is best to secure the family dog and arrange for babysitting young children.

Have alternate dates in mind and make sure the dates are at least a week apart as the summer shipping season is busy and JPPSO-COS needs more than just a few days apart for booking purposes.

Stay in touch with TMO if problems arise.

I am moving stateside. What are my shipping options?
If a member is going stateside, there are three options available: Code 1 - Motor Van, movement of household goods in a motor van, air ride from origin to destination; Code 2 - Containerized Household Goods, movement of household goods in containers and placed on a flatbed carrier and transported from origin to destination (be aware that sometimes, depending upon the state, a Code 2 can be more costly for the government and the member would be responsible for all excess costs); and Personally Procured Movement program. A member electing to do a PPM move has the opportunity to make some extra cash. The government will pay the member 95 percent of what it would have cost the government to transport the household goods (before taxes).

Once your shipment is booked, you will receive an automated voice call from JPPSO-COS providing pick-up information followed by a digital notification via e-mail. It is important to provide your counselor with a good email address. As a reminder, you will receive another automated phone call three days prior to your pickup date. You may also communicate with JPPSO-COS through their web site at https://www.jppos-cos.af.mil.

I am a single airman and have orders to Korea and no follow-on assignment. What are my entitlements?
Single members are authorized either their unaccompanied baggage allowance or 10 percent of their JFTR weight entitlement. Any excess property will go into permanent storage for the duration of the tour. Always consult with TMO on what can be taken to avoid excess costs and longer delays.

Are there size restrictions for personal vehicles?
Yes, a vehicle cannot exceed 20 metric tons without accruing excess cost. The formula is length multiplied by width, multiplied by height, and divided by 40. If your vehicle exceeds 20 metric tons you will have to pay excess charges at the port.

Is it true that I must have a release from my bank to ship my personal vehicle overseas?
Yes, you must have a "signed release" from the lien holder authorizing shipment of the vehicle out of country. Vehicles arriving at the processing port without this letter will not be shipped, including motorcycles that were shipped as household goods. Not all countries accept personal vehicles, so contact TMO to see if you are authorized to ship your vehicle to your new duty station.

I have heard that in certain countries I can not ship my personal vehicle. What are my options?
There are two options for you: there is government storage, or you may procure your own storage.

Government Storage: The government storage facility is located in Carson, California. TMO has a POV letter that you must get to store your POV; along with your orders and this letter, you will take your car to the port. You are entitled to store 1 POV owned or leased by you or your dependent to be placed in storage. Once placed in storage it must remain in storage for the duration of your tour. Your vehicle must meet the POV 20 metric ton requirement.

Self-Procured Storage: You may choose to self procure your own storage; you must store your car in a bonfide storage facility. You will pay for the storage using your GTC or own funds, you will keep all receipts and submit a final travel voucher when you get to your next duty station. You will be reimbursed up to but not to exceed the POV government contract price. Please see a TMO professional for more information.

I live in base housing but my house is too small. What can I do?
Whether you PCS into base housing or move from the local area into base housing you are authorized "Forced Issued Storage." The first step is to make sure that the items you do not need or cannot use are put on a list then take the list to Family Housing. Housing will give you authorization to a make move. Next step is bringing your orders to TMO and we will hire a contractor to pickup your property and place into government storage.

I didn't receive a TMO briefing at my last base and I did a PPM move. Can I get my incentive?
Always, always get a briefing! The reason for a briefing is that you sign all official paperwork, this makes your move "legal," and you are entitled to the incentive under the PPM program. If, for some unknown reason you cannot get a briefing then you must do the following procedures. Obtain both full weight and empty weight for your vehicle. Keep all receipts associated with your move for example: fuel, oil, boxes and rental receipts. Then do a letter of justification to TMO explaining why you could not attend/obtain a briefing in order to get paid. Once all these procedures are followed and your orders are valid, we then calculate the figures and turn paperwork over to finance for final payment.

My house doesn't close till next week. How far in advance does TMO need notice for delivery?
Summer season is hectic around here. JPPSO-COS will need at least seven working days notice for setting up deliveries. Please do not arrange to have your household goods set up the same day as closing, the reason for this is that it never fails that something goes wrong with the final signing. Schedule your delivery for the day after signing.

What does the government consider unusual items for special packaging?
Third party services are associated with the assembly or disassembly of unusual household goods article found inside/outside a residence, and with the preparation of certain household goods article which required special servicing for safe transportation. Examples that may require assembling or disassembling are large wall units/cabinets (German schranks), water beds, grandfather clocks, pipe organs, and satellite dishes. 

Please inform your counselor at time of setting up your briefing items of unusual nature and TMO will let the local agents know. Once a determination has been made as to how best to protect the item, TMO will give written authorization to the agent/carrier.

New entitlements for household goods and permanent storage:
Mattresses will be placed in new mattress carton and/or plastic bags at the residence and sealed with tape. All cartons will have a minimum average bursting strength of 200 pounds per square inch. Plastic bags must have a minimum thickness of 3mil and may only be used when a Direct Delivery address has been designated in block 18 of the government bill of lading. 

Plastic mattress shipping bags will not be used for shipments being consigned to long term non-temporary storage.

Did you know...?
The Air Force is consolidating all household goods/personal property claims functions to a centralized facility in Kettering, Ohio. The new Air Force Claims Service Center started processing claims in 2006. They will be moving the functions away from the bases to the CSC month by month with an estimated completion of 2007. After completion, local base claims offices will no longer process claims for personal property shipments.

Air Force claims customers can now walk-in to scan their documents for electronic submission to the CSC. Please contact the claims office at 228-4912 for further assistance.

Useful Web sites:
Weight Estimator - the weight estimator is available on the SDDC Web site at
HTTP://WWW.SDDC.ARMY.MIL/PUBLIC/PERSONAL%20PROPERTY/REFERENCE%20LIBRARY/WEIGHT%20ESTIMATOR?SUMMARY=FULLCONTENT. This site is a useful tool for customers to use when estimating the weight of their household goods and will provide a more accurate estimate for your planning purposes.

The best way to get information about your car is use the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Web site at http://whereismypov.com. The site will give you up-to-date information on shipping your vehicle.

Another great tool is the Air Force Move Web site; all bases are located on the Installation Directory. To use this site go to http://afmove.hq.af.mil/. Not only will you find the base you require, but you'll also find valuable information on PPM's, entitlements and other helpful hints.

What are the numbers to contact TMO?
Our office numbers are: Customer Service/Inbound at 228-4816 ext. 203 or 205; Customer Service/Appointment Desk at 228-4817 or 228-4818 ext. 204; Inspectors at 228-4239 ext. 208; Passenger Section at 228-4861 ext. 213 or 214.

We do have an auto-attendant phone service. You may have to leave a message but each section will return phone calls.

If you have any problems, please take time and contact a member of the following management team: Mrs. Karenanne Beavers, Personal Property Supervisor, at 228-1375; Sergeant Yazzie, noncommissioned officer in charge, at 228-4818 ext 209; 1st Lt. Stacy Javarone, officer in charge, at 228- 4417; or Mr. Greg Coker, Traffic Management Officer, at 228-5488.

The goal of your TMO is to provide exceptional moving service. Early planning, knowledge of your entitlements, family pre-planning, working with the household goods carriers and using the information from the TMO counselors will result in a good move and family relocation.

We're located in Building 2300 - come see us and we'll help you get started towards a great move.