FAQs for PCS Moves

We want to make the move process as stress-free as possible. Some of the stress comes from not knowing what to expect or how to properly plan for your move. The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will help guide you and your family so you can be as prepared as possible so there won’t be any surprises that sneak up on you. If you have further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Are my dates confirmed once my shipment is accepted by a TSP?

No, your dates are not confirmed until you receive communication from our team of customer service specialists. You can easily see if your dates are confirmed by checking our tracking website.

It’s important to be flexible with your dates during peak season (May – August). Our team of representatives will work hard to assign only DOD approved agents in your local market to service your requested dates, but we may ask for flexibility due to agent saturation or other volume move situations such as a graduating class or mass moves out of some military installations. Agent capacity at origin or destination is subject to change without notice to the Transportation Service Provider (TSP).

What is the best time to move?

If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest you select a time other than summer, the end of the month or around the holidays. The heaviest demands are placed on trucks, equipment and personnel during these periods. If the move can be scheduled for a time when vans and trained personnel are more readily available, we’ll be better able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.

I will not be present for pack/load and/or delivery, how do I assign someone as a releasing/receiving agent?

You have two options when assigning a releasing or receiving agent on your behalf. Your first option is to simply log into DPS and complete the Point of Contact Page. This page is designated for anyone that you want to assign as a Releasing or Receiving Agent. Your second option is to send us a brief email stating you authorize this person to receive or release your household goods. You must include the person’s first and last name and contact information – we must have this in writing. Please keep in mind your receiving or releasing agent must be at least 18 years old and be available between the hours of 8am– 5pm.

When will my pre-move survey be completed?

Your pre-move survey will be completed no later than 3 business days before your first pack date.

What do I need to do to prepare a washer or dryer for the move?

Disconnect all appliances, such as washer, dryer, and stove. Charges associated with disconnecting these appliances are your responsibility and should be performed prior to pack date. If you are shipping or storing a front-load washer, please provide necessary hardware (shipping bolts) when available. If not, please provide the make and model to the pre-move survey coordinator at time of the survey so we can set up a third-party service to assist.

What steps can I take to prevent mold in my shipment?

Clean and dry items that tend to accumulate moisture and items that contain food remnants such as: car seats, high chairs, baby/kid items, refrigerators, freezers, rugs, shoes, and any other item that may need to be cleaned and dried.

What do I need to do to prepare to move a refrigerator or freezer?

Empty, defrost, and thoroughly wash the inside of your refrigerator and/or freezer to keep mildew at a minimum during transit and storage. These appliances need at least two days to dry out. Leave doors open after cleaning, as this will help prevent mold.

What is Suddath’s role as the Transportation Service Provider?

As your transportation service provider, Suddath is contracted by the Government to manage your PCS move from start to finish. To do this, we contract DOD approved agents in your area to complete the packing, hauling, delivery and third-party services. This could be one agent packing, hauling and delivering your shipment or a sperate agent for each phase of your relocation – it depends on the local agent capacity.

Why are so many different agents calling me?

There are many working parts of a PCS move. You may receive contact from the following parties:
• TSP – will contact you periodically throughout your relocation to make sure the subcontracted agents are providing you excellent service.
• Origin Agent (The company that completes the pre-move survey, packing and sometimes pick up of your HHG)
• Hauling Agent – (this can also be the packing company based on their hauling capabilities)
• Destination agent – If your shipment goes into SIT, this is the agent who will store and deliver your HHG. If your shipment was containerized or hauled on a lease trailer, this is the company that will provide labor to deliver your HHG.
• Third party services – This is a company that completes third party services at origin and destination such as: crating specialty items, disassembly/reassembly of wardrobes and stabilizing front load washers, to name a few.

Why do I need to label my ProGear?

ProGear is professional gear, and the weight of those items are not counted against your total. Since the definition of “ProGear” can change, you should look up the specifications for your branch of service. Spouses can claim up to 500 pounds of pro gear for their profession, too. It’s recommended that you keep at least one set of every uniform in your possession. It’s important to make sure the ProGear is annotated on the inventories for the ProGear to be counted.

What items can I pack in my iUB? (Unaccompanied baggage – CODE 7,8, J)

Unaccompanied baggage (UB) is an option for shipments where a small subset of your total weight allowance is expedited to your new location, typically while you wait for the rest of your belongings to arrive at a later date. This part of your shipment travels via air. Examples include: computers, cooking supplies, bedding/blankets, clothing/shoes, pet items, pro-gear, tv, PlayStation etc. Some items not included are beds, motorcycles, boats, and bulky items.

Can I track my shipment?

Yes! You can track your shipment through our website.

I booked my move months ago, why is there no driver assigned?

Even though you may have booked your move with the military months in advance, hauling agencies do not plan a driver’s load that far in advance. There are many factors that may change which can lead to driver assignments, such as weight fluctuations, mechanical problems and route changes. Most dispatchers plan their driver’s loads about one to two weeks out.

Can I request a door to door move?

No. Your shipment may not be the only shipment moving on the driver’s truck. Because of this, there may be pickups or deliveries prior to the driver delivering your shipment.

Why is my shipment being containerized?

Driver shortages are a growing concern throughout every industry, especially Household Goods. Your shipment was chosen to be containerized due to the increase in demand and lack of supply. During peak season, there is only one driver for every five military shipments, which can cause compounding issues for pickups and deliveries. Due to this constraint, your shipment is containerized to ensure quicker transit times and less delays. Your shipment could also be containerized due to the Code of Service your Transportation Office awarded to the TSP and explanations of those Codes of Service are below.
• CODE D: TSP has the choice to move loosely loaded or containerized
• CODE 2: TSP must containerize on site, crates to be sealed with member present
• CODE 4,5,6, T: TSP must containerize on site, crates to be sealed with member present
• CODE 7,8, J: TSP must containerize on site, crates to be sealed with member present

Is my RDD a guaranteed delivery date?

No. The RDD (required delivery date) is the no-later-than date the military provides. If we miss this date, we are required to pay inconvenience claims. Please be prepared for any unforeseen delays during your relocation process. The local agent’s capacity at origin or destination is subject to change without notice to the TSP.

What do I do if my shipment is late?

If your shipment is not delivered on your required delivery date (RDD) by 5pm, you are eligible to file an inconvenience claim. It’s important to keep all receipts! Items you can submit include but are not limited to: lodging, meals, laundry service, purchase of sheets, towels, pots, pans, paper plates, napkins and disposable cutlery.

When supported by receipts, the maximum liability for lodging and meal expenses will not exceed the daily lodging and meal per diem rate. To get your per diem rate, please call our Customer Care group at 904-390-7100 ext. 6888.

Itemized receipts must accompany all inconvenience claim requests for lodging, meals and food. Out of pocket expenses must be reasonable and relate directly to relieving a definite hardship when establishing a household. Example of reasonable are: Wal-Mart, Target and AAFES. If the TSP purchases or reimburses the customer for tangible household items such as towels or pot and pans, the TSP may make arrangements to reclaim those items upon delivery of the customer’s shipment.

Who approves third party services?

All approvals must go through the military. This is why your pre-move survey is critical – it gives your local packing company an opportunity to survey your residence and request third party services from the military. These requests are not always approved. Some examples of third-party services include, disassembly of your treadmill, crating for specialty items or even lowering your gun safe from your second story residence.

What is a delivery spread?

A delivery spread is the range of dates that your shipment could arrive to the destination. Our tracking website will be updated once we have a more accurate estimated time of arrival.

When will you provide me an ETA for delivery?

We will not have an estimated time of arrival until after your shipment loads. This is because the drivers schedule can change. Your estimated time or arrival is subjected to change without notice.

What is the difference between a required delivery date and a preferred delivery date?

A required delivery date is the no-later-than date the military provides. If we miss this date, we are required to pay inconvenience claims. Your preferred delivery date is the date you desire to have your household goods delivered. While we try our best to accommodate your requested delivery date, your delivery date will depend on the driver’s schedule or mode of transportation.

When I have a driver assigned to my shipment, are there other loads on the trailer?

A common misconception about moving from state to state is that your shipment will travel directly to your new destination. In reality, your shipment will be loaded on to a truck with other families’ household goods that the hauling agent is also servicing. They may or may not be Suddath-assigned moves.

Why is my driver taking longer than me to drive to destination?

Unless your household goods are enough to fill an entire truckload, your driver may have other pickups/deliveries while in route to your destination. In addition, drivers must follow strict regulations regarding hours they drive and operate each day. In addition to drive time, the driver’s ELD log must also count wait time, including waiting to get on base or even waiting at the warehouse for labor pickups, packing supplies or incoming deliveries.

I’m ready for delivery, why did my shipment go to the destination agent?

The most common reason is that your shipment was containerized. Based on the weight of your shipment, how far it is traveling, and/or the location you are moving from or to, our logistics team decided that crating your shipment was the best option for moving your items quickly and safely. Due to the equipment required to load and unload the containers from the truck, your shipment must go agent to agent prior to being delivered to your destination address.

Why was my containerized shipment sent to a Destination Agency before I can schedule delivery?

When your shipment is moved containerized, the TSP uses a freight company for transport. The freight company’s sole responsibility is the movement from origin to destination. Freight companies require a dock for load/offload which is the reason the shipment must go to an agency prior to delivery. Once your goods arrive, the agency will advise their first available date for delivery and a representative from our office will contact you to schedule delivery to your residence.

How do I schedule delivery out of storage at my destination?

To schedule delivery out of storage, you need to contact us, your TSP, to set up delivery. We will arrange the delivery with your destination agent and make sure the DPS system is update accurately. It’s important to schedule your delivery through the TSP. If the TSP is not aware of delivery, it can cause delays in filing claims and miscommunication from the TSP.

The weight I received from DPS seems higher than it should be?

The automated email you receive from DPS is your actual weight, also known as your gross weight. Your Transportation Office will deduct 10% off the top of your gross weight for packaging materials as well as the weight of your ProGear. The net weight will be your billed weight. Your TO office will be able to provide you with the net weight.

When am I authorized an unpack and debris removal?

At the time of delivery. This is a required service for the delivery crews to perform. If you sign the DD1850 (notification of loss or damage form) indicating that the service was completed to your satisfaction or it was waived at the time of delivery, the military will not approve a return pick-up and it will be your responsibility to dispose of the packing material and boxes from your shipment.

If there is loss & damage to my goods, how much time do I have to file a claim?

You have nine months from the date of delivery provided that the loss/damage notification is provided within 75 days from the date of delivery. All claims must be filed directly in DPS.


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Additional questions? We’re here to help.

Contact our dedicated team of professionals to get the answers you need for your PCS relocation.