Firm sought for Defense Department domestic freight moves
The U.S. Defense Department plans to centralize the movement of its domestic military freight through a single commercial transportation services provider.
“We are synchronizing everything that moves,” said Lt. Gen. Gary Hughey, deputy commander for the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in a recent statement.
The proposal was presented to industry representatives at an Aug. 4 meeting in Crystal City, Va. A contract for the first phase of the project could be awarded as early as late summer 2005, the military said.
Phase one of the project will involve shipments from the Defense Logistics Agency’s 19 U.S. depots. This military agency annually processes about 390,000 shipments, valued at more than $178 million.
Overall, the military ships from 4,000 domestic locations to as many as 11,000 recipients countrywide. Today, commercial firms handle more than 95 percent of the military’s estimated 600,000 domestic freight moves annually.
Many industry executives are concerned about the size of the proposal.
“There are still too many unknowns,” said Leland Karras, executive director of government accounts for ABF Freight Systems in Salt Lake City. “I think it is too big for anyone to get a handle on.”
The Defense Department plans to solicit comments on its proposal through the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA).
“From the government perspective, it has merit,” said Ken Wykle, president of NDTA. “For the industry, there are a lot of questions to be answered such as the role of small businesses will play.'