Movers Group Seeks Review of $20B Contract for Military Moves

'Movers for America' Is Asking Congress to Direct the GAO to Pause Contract, Evaluate Program
Getty Image of moving boxes
ATA is not formally affiliated with Movers for America, although some of ATA’s members are publicly pushing for the GAO evaluation. (luza studios/Getty Images)

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A coalition of 250 professional movers, dubbed “Movers for America,” is calling on Congress to direct the Government Accountability Office to pause a controversial $20 billion contract and conduct a thorough evaluation of the new program slated to provide an estimated 300,000 annual moves for the nation’s military members and their families.

The Department of Defense Global Household Goods contract has for months been under heavy criticism from some of the nation’s largest and most respected moving companies, including members of American Trucking Associations’ Moving and Storage Conference, some of whom are refusing to sign up for the new program being overseen by a single contractor because they say it’s too confusing and won’t allow them to make a fair living.

ATA is not formally affiliated with Movers for America, although some of ATA’s members are publicly pushing for the GAO evaluation.

“Several longtime players in the military moving industry are still trying to wrap their arms around what the new Global Household Goods moving contract means for future military shipments,” Bill Lovejoy, owner and president of Republic Moving and Storage and chairman of ATA’s MSC, said in a statement. “We’re in uncharted territory with a single-source provider put in charge of all military moves, with even bigger questions surrounding international relocations. No business should undertake a new contract without performing their due diligence, so why would the federal government?

“I strongly support a GAO study for the industry.”

Bill Lovejoy


Lovejoy and several other longtime military movers say they are waiting to sign up for the new contract, which has been touted by the U.S. Transportation Command as a solution for long-standing problems with moving the military worldwide.

Movers have argued that the contract’s liability insurance requirements are excessive and that the federal Service Contract Act would require them to pay employees at costly rates, making their pricing “not compensatory.” Even some of the larger movers have individually threatened to not sign up their companies for the contract, first awarded to Houston-based HomeSafe Alliance in 2022, but delayed by an unsuccessful court challenge.

HomeSafe has repeatedly said the new contract is working, and Transcom is steadfastly moving ahead with the contract, but on a gradual phase-in basis.

Tim Helenthal


“It seems Transcom has lost its way because the GHC drastically reduces rates for the movers who will actually be providing the services, which is why so few have committed to the new program,” National Van Lines CEO Tim Helenthal said. “Before this program is implemented on a wide-scale basis, where the impacts could be catastrophic, it’s time for a strategic pause to examine the financial structure, the actual commitments and the program requirements to see if they are feasible.”

Movers for America has expressed a number of specific concerns with the program, including:

  • Transcom’s new contract is unreasonable for trusted and road-tested professional moving companies.
  • Transcom’s transition to a privatized system for moves is the epitome of government waste — throwing good money after bad “with no benefit to our service men and women or the taxpayers.”
  • Faulty technology, inexperienced leadership and a lack of participating moving companies could force military families to handle their own moves.
  • The project is way behind schedule — and Transcom just invested an extra $60 million to “buy” another yearlong delay. There were about 150,000 domestic permanent change-of-station moves during 2023, and if the private entity overseeing all PCS moves conducts just 1% of all domestic moves over the year, Transcom will unnecessarily spend an additional $40,000 per move in taxpayer funds.
  • The contract is a competition killer — and like many other problematic DOD contracts, it shapes market trends to create an industry monopoly, with excessive barriers to entry and a cascade of consequences.

Transcom has said it is beginning the new Global Household Goods contract on a limited basis. Once moves have been executed successfully according to contract requirements and more information technology capabilities are available, Transcom and the military said they plan to gradually increase volume and add interstate moves for initial locations.

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DOD has said it does not plan to add additional locations during peak season (May 15-Aug. 31) and will only order a limited number of domestic shipments under the new contract from the locations phased in this spring. This means most service members and their families will move under the current program, not the new one, during this year’s peak moving season.

“Starting with such a low volume provides us the opportunity to ensure our systems and processes are working smoothly before they affect a larger group of service members and families,” Andy Dawson, director of the defense personal property management office, said in a statement.