Logistics Directorate Tests New Shipping System for DoD
The Exchange is live with the Department of Defense’s prototype transportation management system (TMS).
U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is coordinating the prototype for the department and selected the Exchange to participate in the first phase of live implementation launched on May 1.
The launch was the culmination of a project more than two years in the making, geared toward increasing efficiency in delivering materials and goods to service members and their families outside of CONUS.
The prototype demonstrated the ability to cut booking time to one-fifth of what it was under the previous system.
‘Helping the other improve’
When the Exchange exports goods overseas, an associate books a shipment through USTRANSCOM, who acts as a liaison with various carriers. This process normally takes about 15-20 minutes.
The prototype can cut that to 3-5 minutes, thanks in large part to better data integration that automatically populates much of the information, meaning associates no longer have to manually enter all shipment details.
“Both parties are helping the other to improve, and the end result
will be better, faster service for military customers.”
-Morgan Meeks, vice president of transportation operations
Beyond speeding up the process, the prototype may provide improved supply chain visibility and flexibility.
“As the first user, the Exchange is trying out the prototype TMS and giving USTRANSCOM feedback, and they’re telling us how we can be more efficient together,” said Morgan Meeks, Exchange vice president of transportation operations. “Both parties are helping the other to improve, and the end result will be better, faster service for military customers.”
Handling shipping in Hawaii
The Exchange has been diligently working on implementation, improvements and training since the prototype TMS was first proposed.
The prototype is being used to handle the Exchange’s shipping lanes in Hawaii in this first phase. By the end of the year, USTRANSCOM will assess data and feedback from the Exchange and determine whether to move forward with a TMS, which would allow the Exchange to expand its use overseas.
USTRANSCOM leads DoD’s Defense Transportation System, conducting globally integrated mobility operations and providing capabilities that can project and sustain DoD forces supporting national security objectives all over the world.
“We’re grateful to have such an amazing partnership with the Exchange. We could not have done this without them. The Exchange’s innovative culture is a gem within DoD and made them an ideal partner,” said Andy Dawson, USTRANSCOM’s TMS team lead. “Learning from and sharing with the Exchange allows us to streamline processes and ultimately improve support to the entire Joint Force.”