Government Relocation: How to Simplify the Process, Reduce Downtime and Improve Cost Management

02/16/22

Government relocations can be complex. They’re also time-bound, very personal and expensive.

Given their complexity, urgency, personal nature and cost, it’s easy to see how relocating employees, or transferees, can easily suffer from lost productivity and unscheduled downtime when relocating for a new work assignment in another part of the country.

In recent years, government agencies have increased their reliance on relocation management companies to simplify and expedite this process, reduce the incidence of lost productivity and unscheduled downtime, and better manage relocation costs for transferees who meet the Government’s 50-mile distance test. Relocation management companies, or RMCs, provide outsourced relocation logistics management and provide expert assistance with a number of relocation-related services – one of which is selecting the best household goods (HHG) mover for the transferee’s relocation.

Most government agencies follow the Federal Travel Regulation, or FTR. With regard to HHG costs in particular, government employees are entitled to ship or store up to 18,000 pounds net weight at Government expense. For uncrated or van line shipments, a 2,000-pound allowance is added to the 18,000-pound net weight limit to cover packing materials required for the shipment (per FTR, §302-7.2). Shipments over 18,000 lbs. in net weight require written notification to the transferee. The relocating employee is responsible for reimbursing the Government for incremental costs incurred if the shipment is overweight.

It’s easy to see how factors like price, quality of service and experience need to be considered by RMCs when selecting the best HHG mover for a transferee.

“Knowing that a move or relocation will be handled by an experienced professional can go a long way toward reducing the stress and anxiety of an interstate move – which can help minimize lost productivity and downtime.”

When comparing prices, understanding the difference between a van line agent, moving broker and a private moving company is a good first step. Private, or independently owned, moving companies will generally provide the best value and have access to their own trucks, driver networks and labor. Full service movers will pack, load, store, drive and deliver the HHG shipment. If the relocation involves an interstate move (i.e., typically over 150 miles), the cost of the move is determined by distance, time of year and shipment weight.

One way to assess a mover’s quality of service on government relocations is by checking the annual Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores among domestic and international household goods movers for the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program (CHAMP). The GSA’s CHAMP ranks its 86 domestic and 90 international household goods movers using a CSI score. The CSI is a performance metric based upon the relocating employee’s and government agency’s satisfaction, and it measures individual performance against the average level of customer satisfaction across all companies participating in CHAMP.

Knowing that a move or relocation will be handled by an experienced professional can go a long way toward reducing the stress and anxiety of an interstate move – which, in turn, can help transferees minimize lost productivity and unscheduled downtime when relocating for a new work assignment. Common evaluation criteria for choosing a mover include pricing estimates, client references, Google reviews and Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, quality credentials like ISO 9001:2015 and the American Trucking Associations ProMover certifications, industry-specific affiliations with organizations like Worldwide ERC® and, of course, the mover’s ability to meet the agency’s or RMC’s needs and requirements.

Working with a reputable RMC and choosing the right HHG mover can go a long way toward simplifying and expediting the relocation process, reducing lost productivity and unscheduled downtime, and better managing the costs of a government employee’s relocation.

Contact Zack Stephenson at 703.226.3215 or Zack.Stephenson@invan.com for more information on our long distance HHG moving services.

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