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.
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 and driver availability at origin or destination is subject to change without notice to the Transportation Service Provider (TSP).
As a reminder, USTRANSCOM introduced pickup spread dates for shipments loading May 15, 2021 and later. The spread dates begin on the requested pickup date and ends on the seventh consecutive calendar day
If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest you select a time other than summer, the end of the month or the around holidays.
The heaviest demands are placed on trucks, equipment and personnel during these periods. If the move can be scheduled for a time when trucks and personnel are more readily available, we’ll be better able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.
Your pre-move survey will be completed no later than three business days before your first pack date.
A virtual survey allows our estimators to see your household items to be moved. You don’t have to worry about answering your door and physically walking someone through your home.
The virtual survey option is all done remotely, using your smartphone or tablet. It’s an easy and fast way to get your moving quote.
The parts box is where the movers store hardware to re-assemble any furniture when they arrive at the destination.
As a pro-tip, you may want to take that box with you as you travel to your new destination if possible. There have been limited incidents where the parts box has gone missing, which makes setting up beds, couches, cribs, etc. very difficult without all the proper hardware.
“Spread Dates” refer to the window (seven calendar days) within which your moving company must pick up your shipment.
Your spread date window is calculated from the preferred pickup date you list in DPS when scheduling your move. Currently, the 7-day spread is AFTER your preferred pick-up date—not before.
Example: If you list March 1 as your preferred pickup date, your moving company is required to schedule your pick up between March 1 and March 7.
Please note: due to new USTC rules, shipments loading on May 15, 2022, or after will have a different “pickup spread.” For these shipments, the “pickup spread” is BEFORE the requested pickup date and begins the 7th consecutive calendar day prior.
Example: if you list June 1 as your preferred pickup date, your moving company is required to schedule your pick up between May 26 and June 1.
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.
Your pre-move survey will be completed no later than 3 business days before your first pack date.
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. It’s also important to ensure the water lines are drained and dry prior to load day.
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. This will help prevent mold.
Clean and dry items that tend to accumulate moisture and items that contain food remnants such as: car seats, highchairs, baby/kid items, refrigerators, freezers, rugs, shoes, and any other item that may need to be cleaned and dried.
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.
There are many working parts of a PCS move. You may receive contact from the following parties:
a. TSP (Suddath) – will provide updates throughout your relocation to make sure the subcontracted agents are providing you excellent service throughout the various move phases:
• Origin Agent (The company that completes the pre-move survey, packing and sometimes pick up of your household goods.)
• Hauling Agent – Responsible for the transportation phase to destination. (this can also be the packing company based on their hauling capabilities)
• Destination agent – This is the agent responsible for destination services such as storage (SIT), unpacking and debris removal services.
• 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. It’s important to note that all third-party services, with the exception of front load washers, must be approved by your transportation office. Our office will submit all third-party requests to your transportation office after your premove survey.
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.
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. Typically, the military only authorizes this type of shipment when moving to/from overseas.
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.
There are many factors that go into the route your shipment takes to arrive at your destination.
Depending on the mode of transportation your shipment is assigned, there may be other shipments loaded, planned to be loaded or offloaded from the truck; or it may have to go to a destination agent to provide the proper equipment to complete delivery services.
These factors may cause irregular routes. Your move coordinator will be able to discuss your delivery options based on the mode of transportation your shipment is assigned.
• CODE D: Your agent has the discretion to use the most effective mode of transportation. Your shipment will either be transported loose load in a tractor trailer or crated at the origin warehouse.
• CODE 2: Your agent must containerize your shipment at residence and crates will be sealed with member present.
• CODE 4,5,6, T: These codes of service are reserved for international household goods shipments. The agent must containerize on site and crates will be sealed with member present
• CODE 7,8, J: These codes are reserved for international baggage shipments. These are your essential items that will be expedited to your destination via air transportation. Your agent must containerize on site; containers will be sealed with member present.
The most common reason a shipment is crated is due to lack of drivers.
Driver shortages are a growing concern throughout every industry, especially Household Goods and containerizing your shipment will ensure the fastest transit time possible.
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 discretion to use the most effective mode of transportation
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
No. The RDD (required delivery date) is the no-later-than date the military provides.
The RDD is determined by the weight and mileage of your shipment. If your shipment arrives after this date, we are required to pay inconvenience claims, if you (or an authorized receiving agent) have a residence and are able to accept delivery. Please be prepared for any unforeseen delays during your relocation process, especially during peak moving season (May-September).
The local agent’s capacity and driver availability at origin or destination is subject to change without notice to the TSP (Suddath).
If your shipment is not delivered on your required delivery date (RDD) by 5pm, you are eligible to file an inconvenience claim if you (or an authorized receiving agent) have a residence and are able to accept delivery.
Note: it’s important to keep all receipts! Items you can submit includes but is 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 meal per diem rate.
To get your per diem rate, please call our Military Claims department at 904.390.7100, ext. 1379.
Itemized receipts must accompany all inconvenience claim requests for 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 expenses 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.
Note: see more Inconvenience Claims FAQs at the bottom of this page.
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.
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 (ETA).
We will not have an estimated time of arrival until after your shipment loads. This is because the drivers schedule can change. Once we have an ETA, the tracking website will be updated.
It’s important to note that your estimated time or arrival is subjected to change without notice.
A required delivery date is the no-later-than date the military provides determined by the weight and mileage of your shipment.
If we miss this date, we are required to pay inconvenience claims if you (or an authorized receiving agent) have a residence and are able to accept delivery. 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 and mode of transportation.
A common misconception about moving from state to state is that your shipment may 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.
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.
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.
When your shipment is moved containerized, the mode of transportation used requires a commercial dock for load/offload which is the reason the shipment must go to the destination agency prior to delivery. The transportation company’s sole responsibility is the movement from origin to destination. 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.
Scheduling delivery out of storage is easy with our online delivery request form! After we receive your requested delivery date, our team of specialists will arrange delivery of your household goods with your destination agent. It’s always important to schedule your delivery through us (your TSP). If we are not aware of delivery, it can cause delays in filing claims, submitting your post-move survey and miscommunication.
The automated email you receive from DPS is your actual weight, also known as your gross weight. Your Transportation Office will deduct your ProGear and then 10% from your gross weight for packaging materials. The net weight will be your billed weight. Your TO office will be able to provide you with the net weight.
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.
You have 180 days from your delivery date to provide written notification of loss or damage, and nine months from your delivery date to submit a claim for full replacement value (FRV). After nine months, depreciated value applies.
Your pack-out dates, also known as pack days, are they days crews will be coming to pack your belongings. Depending on the size of your shipment, you may have one packing day or multiple pack days. Your pick-up date is also known as your load date. This is the day movers will remove all boxes and furniture from your home.
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 to SGSCustomerSupport@Suddath.com 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 you’re receiving or releasing agent must be at least 18 years old and be available between the hours of 8am– 5pm
Inconvenience Claims FAQs
The Inconvenience Claim Form is located under the https://move.mil/sme DP3 Inconvenience Claim Form. This form needs to be submitted to the TSP with your request of up to 7 day ME&I per diem or itemized with receipt copies for processing.
Per military guidelines the receipt free per diem payment applies for every day affected up to the first seven calendar days of the delay. Receipts are mandatory for actual out of pocket expenses that exceed the local per diem rate during the first seven calendar days. Receipts are mandatory beginning on the eighth calendar day for actual out of pocket expenses. If you incurred out-of-pocket expenses for approved temporary items necessary to establish your home, which were included in your shipment, you may submit receipts for further review.
The baseline per diem payment is intended to be used for the purchase and/or rental of temporary essential items and for use until the arrival of your delayed shipment. They are not intended to replace the essential items contained in the delayed shipment and, therefore, may not be of the same quality of the items contained in the delayed shipment. ALL out of pocket expenses must be reasonable and relate directly to relieving a definite hardship when establishing a household.
The amounts provided are used as a guide for reasonable items purchased based of a few stores (Amazon, Walmart, Target). You can provide the reason for exceeding the amounts provided for further review at that time.
Per military guidelines, the amount applicable for reimbursement at pickup or the delivery location (as annotated on the bill of lading) is found using the government per diem rate for meals and incidental expenses for the member only (excluding lodging) here.
The inconvenience claim is intended to be used for the purchase and/or rental of temporary essential items that were included in your shipment and for use until the arrival of your delayed shipment.
They are not intended to replace the essential items contained in the delayed shipment and, therefore, may not be of the same quality of the items contained in the delayed shipment. ALL out of pocket expenses must be reasonable and relate directly to relieving a definite hardship when establishing a household.
The temporary items purchased from list below must be part of inventory tendered to be eligible. If amounts are exceeded we may reimburse up to the NTE (not to exceed) amount listed below:
• Bedroom items
o 1 Air mattress per mattress on inventory NTE $100 for king/queen and $30 twin/full
o 1 Sheet and comforter set per mattress NTE $40 for twin/full and $60 for king/queen
o 1 Pillow per family member NTE $10 per pillow
o 1 Pack n’ play per crib on inventory NTE $125
• Bathroom items
o 1 Shower curtain set per bathroom (shower liner, curtain, rings) NTE $20
o 1 Towel set per family member (1 towel, 1 hand towel, 1 washcloth) NTE $15
o 1 Bath mat NTE $10
• Kitchen items
o 1 Set of plastic or paper plates, cups, utensils NTE $20
o 1 Set of pots and pans NTE $60
• Dining Room:
o 1 Folding table set NTE $80
• Living Room Items: (if shipment 7 or more days late)
o 1 Futon couch NTE $150
o 1 TV up to 32” NTE $180
Some common local rental companies that you may use are Rent-A-Center and Aarons. You can arrange for rental items if the delay in receiving your shipment is over seven days due to rental agreements are usually for a minimum of seven days. You do not have to wait the entire seven days to rent the furniture, the delay just has to be over seven days in order to be able to rent furniture on a weekly basis.
For delays at destination over seven days you can rent furniture and/or appliances in lieu of purchasing temporary items that were part of the shipment. The items that cannot be rented can be purchased. Please provide receipts for both rental agreements and purchases with your inconvenience claim for review at that time.
Should the customer claim actual out-of-pocket expenses which exceed the baseline payment amount, they will provide an itemized list of ALL expenses supported by receipts for reimbursement. This process affords DoD customers and families a method of collecting actual out-of-pocket expenses beyond the baseline amount. The customer will be authorized either the per diem amount or the actual out of pocket, expenses whichever is greater.
The military’s Dislocation Allowance (DLA) is intended to pay for moving expenses incurred prior to the RDD. There are situations where the member is advised a few days ahead of time that the shipment will be delayed and if purchases for essentials are made after being advised, we consider those receipts for reimbursement.
The hotel stay is not eligible for reimbursement prior to missing the pickup/RDD. Hotel stay must be pre-approved for reimbursement.
No. The purpose of the per diem is to offset any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the member to purchase essential items needed to establish a household during the delay. Items that have been preapproved for reimbursement beyond the per diem such as an air mattress, bed linens, bath towels, shower curtain, pots & pans, etc. are reusable and, therefore, should not generate additional out-of-pocket expenses if your shipment is delayed beyond the initial FADD.
In accordance with USTRANSCOM guidelines, the Transportation Service Provider (TSP) has 30 days from the date an inconvenience claim is received to pay, deny or make a firm offer. All settlements are submitted via the United States Postal Service.
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