Movers Want Nearly $200 Million in Bailout Cash After Military Moves Frozen

Movers pack a military members property into boxes and load it into crates to be tranferred to a temporary storage facility in O'Fallon, Illinois, July 1, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Stephenie Wade)
Military.com | By Dorothy Mills-Gregg

Moving companies will not survive a two-month freeze on permanent change of station moves amid the coronavirus pandemic without Congress providing a $186.6 million bailout, two moving trade associations said in a Tuesday letter to lawmakers.

The Pentagon put most PCS orders on hold beginning Monday until May 11. But as these moves make up one-fifth of U.S. public and private moves globally, the International Association of Movers and American Moving & Storage Association said pausing moves under the Defense Personal Property Program would be catastrophic.

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"It is likely and estimated that entities will go out of business or enact severe layoffs," IAM and AMSA said in a joint letter to House and Senate leaders. "Once DOD has lifted the travel ban there will be no companies to service the shipment and service members will be left on the curb, unable to move."

The letter was first reported by Bloomberg.

The two associations said this bailout package would let moving companies request up to 60% of their revenue from last year's DP3 moves. They decided that percentage "in recognition that Congress will be asked to financially support numerous individuals, companies and businesses during this unprecedented time."

Related: Here's What the Coronavirus Travel Ban Means for Military Families

"Simply put," the organizations wrote, "many of the companies that support the movement of household goods will not survive this two-month shutdown, without financial support as they have reserved their capacity in anticipation of serving the DOD and it's military service members and families."

The letter further noted the PCS freeze will end around the beginning of summer, which is "peak moving" season and when nearly 80% of all household goods moves happen.

Meanwhile, TRANSCOM is exploring ways to stop using multiple moving companies and instead have just one under a $2 billion contract.

-- Dorothy Mills-Gregg can be reached at dorothy.mills-gregg@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @DMillsGregg.

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