Depending on your service branch, the name of the government office which will handle your relocation varies:
The Department of Defense - Joint Personal Property Shipping Office
Air Force - Traffic Management Office
Army - Installation Transportation Office
Navy and Marine Corps - Personal Property Shipping Office
Coast Guard - Household Goods Shipping Office
Contacting these offices will put you into contact with personal property entitlements counselors who can advise and assist you on your move.
Peak season for relocation is usually May through August. Most people prefer to move during the summer months, and most commands are in competition with other military activities as well as both the commercial market and the corporate market. This creates shortages of drivers, packers and helpers, not to mention trucks and warehouse space. Because of this added competition for service, most van lines are saturated during this peak season, which causes added stress for all.
As a result, it is best to plan and book shipments of household goods as far ahead of time as possible. In fact, many offices require 30 days from the scheduled appointment to set up a shipment. During non-peak time many shipments can often be scheduled within 10 days of counseling.
To ensure a successful move, be sure to provide the following to your personal property entitlements counselor:
- Alternative pack/pickup dates (just in case the dates you want are not available)
- Accurate contact phone numbers
- In-route point of contact phone number/address
When meeting with your counselor, be sure to also bring the following:
- Six (6) legible copies of the member's orders (per shipment)
- Proof of dependents, from the member's service record
- Dependent Entry Approval
- A Power of Attorney or Letter of Authorization, notarized or countersigned by a commissioned officer, if someone other than the member will be signing documents on the member's behalf
- Information on prior shipments if household goods will need to be moved from a location other than the member's current residence
- The registration for any motorized vehicle, motorcycle, boat or trailer that is being shipped
- The make, caliber, and serial number of any firearm being shipped
- For a home of record move, in addition to the above, members will need to bring two (2) copies of their enlistment contract or officer home of record papers, and two (2) copies of every set of orders received up to the current duty station (this additional paperwork is required to correctly calculate the entitlement)