Movers for America Calls for Independent Evaluation of GHC, Citing Viability, Impacts on Military Families and Moving Industry, and Potential Loss of Competitiveness

Following multiple program delays and with many questions still looming about the financial viability and feasibility of military moving services under the Defense Department’s new Global Household Goods Contract (GHC), the coalition Movers for America is urging Congress to direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a thorough program evaluation.

In calling for a GAO evaluation of the GHC contract, Movers for America joins with others including the American Trucking Association’s Moving & Storage Conference.

Movers for America is a broad and growing coalition of more than 250 dedicated moving professionals who are currently responsible for a majority of military moves. It includes agency owners, company employees, labor contractors, and independent owner-operators. The coalition supports a high-quality, efficient, and safe moving program for America’s service members and their families, and seeks greater transparency about the GHC contract and an independent evaluation of its viability.

Among those who have signed on to be a part of Movers for America are these senior industry professionals:

Jack Griffin, Chairman & CEO of Atlas World Group
“Like others, Atlas® strives to provide an exceptional experience for our service members and civilian DOD staff. A 2019 USTRANSCOM Release (20190319-001) stated, “The fundamental purpose and goal of these efforts is all about improving the curbside service for military families…that is our north star and is the only reason we are doing this.” It is our responsibility to ensure our team of hardworking moving professionals are in the best position to deliver an optimal relocation experience. The outcome of the new GHC program has detoured from the north star and presents hurdles to achieving the original goal. Atlas stands ready to be there for the service members and those who support them, just as they are there for us and our families, protecting our freedom.”

Scott Kelly, President of Suddath Government Services:
“We have been raising questions and concerns about the GHC contract for many months now. It represents a very disruptive, high-stakes gamble that will leave military families scrambling for themselves with no backup if it fails. It’s appropriate and necessary for a credible independent source like the GAO to evaluate if the financial assumptions work, if the labor commitments are adequate, if this supports or erodes American competitiveness, and most of all, if military families will be well-served.”

Megan Harless, Army Veteran, Military Spouse, and Founder of PCS Like a Pro
“I’ve PCSed 11 times — as a dual military family, while pregnant, with young kids, and sometimes even alone as my husband was deployed. It’s hard and stressful. Now TRANSCOM is privatizing accountability and imposing an untested program from a company that owns no assets and has among the lowest performance scores. Military families have already endured the disaster of privatized housing. They shouldn’t have to suffer through this.”

Tim Helenthal, Chairman & CEO of National Van Lines:
“Let’s remember that this was all intended to positively transform the moving experience for our service families by pushing more money to the street. It seems TRANSCOM has lost its way because the GHC drastically reduces rates for the movers who will actually be providing the services, which is why so few have committed to the new program. Before this program is implemented on a wide-scale basis, where the impacts could be catastrophic, it’s time for a strategic pause to examine the financial structure, the actual commitments, and the program requirements to see if they are feasible.”

Steve Weitekamp, President of the California Movers & Storage Association:
“More than anything, we want to see a military moving industry that encourages top-tier professionals to provide the best possible service to our military families. However, the GHC transition has shown us that the new system is simply not ready for prime time – and it’s our military families and moving professionals who will suffer the fallout if the system fails. Before taking freedom away from independent owner-operators and forcing the military community into an untested system, a closer look at the GHC is simply common sense.”

Fred Metzler, Board Member of American Movers Association:
“More than 350,000 independent owner-operators across the country have the freedom to conduct business however best meets their schedules and needs, all while driving America’s economy forward. But the GHC will make these drivers choose between servicing our military families as employees, or forgoing this business altogether. Alienating hardworking drivers amid a nationwide driver shortage could mean there won’t be enough resources for the military moves that help keep our nation secure.”

JD Morrissette, President of American Red Ball:
“Among the many consequences of the GHC that are deeply concerning is a provision that would require independent owner-operators to function as employees if they want to service military moves. It is clear to many of us in the industry that the vast majority of these freedom-loving, self-employed big rig drivers would never agree to that. So where will the labor force come from?”

Bill Lovejoy, Owner & President of Republic Moving and Storage:
“Several long-time players in the military moving industry are still trying to wrap their arms around what the GHC means for future military shipments. We’re in uncharted territory with a single source provider put in charge of all military moves, with even bigger questions surrounding international relocations. No business should undertake a new contract without performing their due diligence, so why would the federal government? I strongly support a GAO study for the industry.”

Matt Connell, CEO of TMM
“The world has changed dramatically since TRANSCOM first embarked on this transition to the GHC. Inflation has driven up the cost of doing business; fuel and labor costs have climbed; supply chain shortages have disrupted business. So it’s worth evaluating whether the assumptions that this contract is based on are still valid. At the same time, a recent survey shows that military families have overwhelmingly positive views of the current PCS system, so why upend a system that is delivering for military families?”

A GAO study could address growing concerns by evaluating several aspects of the GHC, including its financial assumptions and viability; likely impacts on military families, moving professionals, and American competitiveness; and the implications of applying the Service Contract Act (SCA) to all military shipments, including those hauled by independent-owner operators.

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