Port congestion could further delay change-of-station vehicle deliveries

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Despite claims that service is improving, defense transportation officials have declined to say how many privately owned military vehicle shipments remain severely delayed, and customers claim deep problems with deliveries persist. (U.S. Army)
From Stripes.com
Despite claims that service is improving, defense transportation officials have declined to say how many privately owned military vehicle shipments remain severely delayed, and customers claim deep problems with deliveries persist. (U.S. Army)

Port congestion could further delay change-of-station vehicle deliveries

by: Adam L. Mathis | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: November 28, 2014

RAF MILDENHALL, England — Congestion at civilian ports around the world means a Defense Department contractor with an already patchy delivery record will be late delivering Defense Department employees’ vehicles into the New Year.

International Auto Logistics said on its website Monday that the port congestion had already caused delays. Despite a decrease in shipping volume during the holiday season, the Brunswick, Ga.-based company “expects these delays to become continually longer into” 2015.

The delays would continue a trend of late deliveries that have marred International’s running of the Defense Department contract to ship the vehicles of personnel on permanent change of station moves. Neither the International nor the Defense Department have released hard data on the company’s shipping record, but many complaints by servicemembers and DOD employees have surfaced on Facebook, ranging from vehicles delivered well past the required delivery date to failure to provide accurate tracking information.

Entry ports in the U.S. and Europe have recently suffered from “persistent congestion,” according to a report on the JOC Group website, a company that follows cargo shipment news.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.,  have both reported problems with congestion on their websites. Los Angeles described the month of September as its busiest for cargo since 2006.

Delays at the Rotterdam, Netherlands, port were so severe earlier this year that one shipping company reportedly diverted some of its traffic to a different port.

A spokeswoman for International could not immediately provide any officials to comment, but International said on its website it had made changes to some operations to help mitigate the situation.

The potential for more delays comes at a time when the government has been hoping to rebuild trust in International. U.S. Transportation Command said in September that the company had doubled the number of vehicles delivered per week compared to August and that deliveries were being made at a greater rate than vehicles were entering the system.

mathis.adam@stripes.com
Twitter: @AMathisStripes

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