Use of Air Carriers for Freight Shipments

PLRD-81-44: Published: Jun 22, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1981.

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GAO reviewed the use of air carriers for freight shipments by the Department of Defense.

GAO found that: (1) small shipments were not being consolidated to the maximum extent possible to obtain the most favorable transportation rates; (2) high-cost air transportation was being used for short distances; (3) commercial bills of lading were not being used as extensively as possible, even though they are less costly to issue and to process than Government bills of lading; (4) there was no effective system for monitoring carrier performance; and (5) the system for designating priorities was misued thereby causing excessive use of air transportation.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to strengthen existing procedures for monitoring carriers' performance and provide regular feedback to origin transportation officers concerning excessive transit times and instances when required delivery dates are not met.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the services to take steps to ensure that requests for high-priority air transportation are made only when surface carriers cannot meet the needs of the requisitioner.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to limit the use of high-cost air transportation for shipments within a radius of 300 miles to situations where lower cost surface carriers cannot meet the required delivery dates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to follow procedures for consolidating shipments, thereby reducing the number of bills of lading issued and obtaining the most favorable transportation rates.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to maximize the use of commercial bills of lading and payment from imprest funds at those activities which issue bills of lading manually.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  6. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to establish realistic required delivery dates which accurately reflect the dates the shipments are actually needed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the services to perform more internal audits to ensure compliance with current policies and procedures.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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