How to calculate space when moving
This following information was gleaned from a thread in Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) section of the RELO Roundtable Forums.
Initially it was left as a discussion comment in response to the recent article entitled USMC concerned about summer PCS moves.
The article delves into a recent MARADMIN memo that the United States Marine Corp sent out regarding upcoming household goods moves being planned by their personnel using the Military Surface Deployment Distribution Command's (SDDC) complicated new internet based procurement process.
The automated, self counseled program allows uses to select between arranging moving their personal property and equipment using professional movers (a/k/a transportation service providers or TSPs) approved by the SDDC, or doing it themselves (DIY).
A trailing spouse whose young family is contemplating their own upcoming move this summer suggested the information be published in the comment section under the main article.
She said the explanation might benefit many of the other military and civilian service members who, like her, discover the original article because they're considering a permanent-change-of-station (PCS) move using the military's new Personally Procured Move (PPM) entitlement.
Anyone else contemplating handling their own local or long distance move themselves might also find the information helpful. Particularly those considering either renting a truck or scheduling one or more of the new mobile/portable container options using their own money or corporate lump sum benefit.
For some other professional tips, tricks and tools you can use when relocating domestically or internationally, check out the How to… information listed at the top of the page or under the category sections in the right sidebar.
Many inexperienced shoppers planning and budgeting their own relocation frequently opt for one of the popular DIY moving product and service options based on their 'guesstimate' of material, manpower and equipment required to complete their move as planned.
Unfortunately, many find themselves in trouble when the arrangements they negotiated either don't match the scope of services required to complete the move to their expectations or else exceed the unplanned out-of-pocket expenses they budgeted for.
If you're in the midst of planning your own move and have questions about the conversion calculations listed below, either add a note in the comments section beneath the article or sign up and leave it in the RELO Roundtable Forum discussions.
Excerpt from USMC concerned about summer PCS moves thread at the RELO Roundtable Forums. The original content has been edited for clarity.
A reader from inside the industry submitted the following pricing comparison to show interested military members the cost difference between:
- Using a SDDC approved TSP (a/k/a full service mover) to move 6000 lbs of household goods (HHG) or personal property between Joint Base McGuire, NJ to Fayetteville, NC, or,
- Renting a truck to do it themselves as a Personally Procured Move (PPM), which, incidentally, was formerly known as a DITY move.
The weight of 6000 lbs is approximately the average size of a military HHG shipment moving from that particular installation. The shipment weight used in the example is slightly lower than the national average of all interstate HHG moves.
The first chart (PPM Example #1) shows the PPM pricing allowed under SDDC's new DP3 'best value' program.
The second chart (PPM Example #2) is the estimated cost using a 26' straight truck which gets 9 miles to gallon on regular fuel, has 1611 feet of cubic capacity (including an attic), 208 sq ft of floor space and max load capacity of 7,400 lbs.
The actual price of a gallon of fuel used at the time of the move will affect pricing under both scenarios. The PPM options does not include the personal or purchased cost of labor to pack, load, drive, unload or unpack.
PPM Example #1
400NG Tariff & Rating Information
|Orig Zip 08641||H.H.G. Tariff 400NG||DOE Price/FS% 3.9 / 15.00%|
|Orig SA 544-New York, NY||Rating Eff Date 05/14/11|
|Dest Zip 28314||Loading Date|
|Dest SA 568-Fayetteville, NC||Transp Weight 6000|
|Shipment Discount 68.00%||S.I.T. Discount .00%|
|6A Fuel Surcharge-LHS 15%||301.04|
|135A Orig Service Charge||6000||2.68||160.52|
|135B Dest Service Charge||6000||1.45||86.79|
|105A Full Pack||6000||18.58||1114.56|
|105A Full Unpack||6000||1.78||106.85|
|Total Tariff Charges||11802.22|
Any Fuel Surcharge is determined by applicable DOE price and is subject to change.
PPM Example #2
ESTIMATED COST WITH DOING DITY MOVE
ESTIMATED MOVE DATE
ORIGIN: JOINT BASE McGUIRE,NJ 6000 lbs
|UHAUL 26 foot Truck One Way||$ 976.00|
|UHAUL ENV FEE||5.00|
|HIRED LABOR TO LOAD||360.00|
|FUEL 515 MILES 80 GALLONS @ 4.25/GAL||340.00|
|TOTAL COST||$ 2,582.43|
|ESTIMATED MOVING ALLOWENCE||$ 3,322.18|
Note: Example does not include any personal labor to pack, load, drive and unload and unpack.
Under the current DP3 PPM program, a service member and their family are paid at 95% of the prevailing transportation rate for the traffic channel in which they are moving. That means the relocation stipend allowed by SDDC is based on weight. Both gross and tare weights must be obtained. Each weighing costs $5.00 – 15.00, depending on the location and type of military approved scale used.
Knowing the right sized truck to rent or number of containers to arrange, however, requires a conversion to cubic feet, or, as the pros say, cube.
The problem that's not mentioned anywhere in the instructional material prepared by SDDC for their PPM program is importance of the load density factor when arranging material and equipment; or estimating associated moving, travel and relocation related living expenses.
Most professional moving and storage agents use a conversion factor of 7 lbs per cubic foot when performing their in-home survey of household goods (HHG) to be packed and moved. In the example above: 6000 lbs. / 7 lbs per cubic foot = 857 cu. ft.
Experienced HHG van operators pack and load at a density factor of 6.0 -7.0 lbs per cube. At 6.0 lbs per cubic foot, a professional mover is able to load approximately 9600 lbs into a 1600 cu ft. rental truck.
Most inexperienced DIYers, on the other hand, pack and load at rate of somewhere between 3.0 – 5.5 lbs per cubic foot. The actual results usually depend the quality and quantity of the packing and protective material being used, types of load securement options (straps, rope, dunnage, nothing) employed to hold the load in place; and each workers packing experience/ability, physical condition and/or health limitations.
If a do-it-yourselfer uses the right amount of material and equipment and is lucky enough to pack and load at a rate good enough to achieve a density factor of 5.5 lbs per cube, then they can will be able to move approximately 8800 in the 1600 cu ft. truck. (i.e. 1600 cu ft. x 5.5 lbs per cuft. = 8800 lbs)
If, on the other hand, the DIYer decides to skimp on material and avoid the cost of ropes and/or straps to secure the load, the 1600 cu ft truck will only be able to accommodate approximately 5600 lbs if loaded at a density rate of 3.5 lbs per cubic foot. (i.e. 1600 cu. ft. x 3.5 lbs per cuft = 5600 lbs)
The 26' straight truck used in the example above is the largest that can be rented using a conventional driver's license. This means that if the property owner wasn't able to get everything inside the moving equipment they rented, an overflow will occur. When this happens to professional movers, the local agent (not the TSP), sends a second truck out to pick the amount left over.
On PPM moves, the DIYer would either have to:
- unload and repack shipment and truck well enough to get everything in the space allowed
- leave some of the household items and personal effects behind
- rent another truck; or,
- make two trips.
If the last options are what occurs, the metrics and pricing used to perform the cost comparison calculation above goes out the door and it will probably cost the transferee a lot of money out their own pocket to arrange their own PCS move under the military's new DPS program.
This is probably why the DITY/PPM isn't more popular with lower ranked military members and their families. Their reluctance to tackle a relocation themselves is reinforced even more when they realize the cost benefit isn't worth the risk under SDDC's new 'best value' pricing model.
Wonder why SDDC never thought of this when they developed their current PPM program? Who knows …maybe they did!
Personally Procured Move (PPM) – Move.Mil – The Official DPS Portal
Calculating expenses when moving into and out of self storage - RELO Roundtable
Military launches improved system for personal property moves – RELO Roundtable
Rolling back the warehouse doors – a self storage introspective – RELO Roundtable
‘Defense Personal Property Procurement Program (DP3)’ Category – RELO Roundtable
Popular Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Forum Discussions – RELO Roundtable
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