How Much Does Going over PCS Weight Allowance Cost Per Pound?

moving truck and boxes on the front lawn
(Marine Corps Installations East/DVIDS)

You may have heard rumors or whispers about what happens when you are over your weight allowance for a PCS. One friend said they were charged $1 for each pound over the limit, but then someone else said they were charged $4 per pound. That's a big difference. What's the truth?

Like most things in the military, it depends.

The short answer is that both friends might be correct. For one, it might have been $1 per pound, and for the other, it might have been $4. And, that is oh-so-helpful, isn’t it?

Why? Because there is no set overage charge if you go over your weight allowance. The cost per pound is determined by where you are going and from where. That means the overage cost for you moving from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington state, will be different than the overage cost for someone going to Washington, D.C., from Florida, or to Washington state from Florida, or from anywhere else to anywhere else.

So who can tell you how much you would pay per pound in overages? Officials at your base transportation office should be able to help you with that calculation.

Avoid Going Overweight

But let’s look at ways to avoid this problem, most of them centering on getting rid of things you don’t need. Here are some suggestions on how to do just that.

Make sure you’re using your pro gear allotment, including what may be allowed for spouses. For more info on that, talk to your transportation office at the installation you’re leaving. Yes, there are overarching rules about pro gear, but each service can add to them and then each installation enforces them differently.

Get rid of stuff! Chances are you do not need to keep everything you have currently in your house. If you know you are downsizing on the next move, get rid of things before you ship them across the country.

Challenge the System

If you receive word that your shipment is over your weight allowance, don’t be afraid to push back. You can do this in several ways. You can request your shipment be weighed again. This is the most recommended first step.

Another option is to have the packing materials weighed. If you think the movers used an excessive -- as in beyond the normal excess -- of paper when packing your things, alert the transportation office prior to delivery and have those weighed.

If you do go overweight on your next move, remember your options and make the best decisions moving forward.

Be Sure You're Ready for Your Next PCS

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Benefits Family and Spouse PCS