Questionable Practices in the Selection of Transportation Services for Small Lots of Hazardous or Sensitive Cargo

PLRD-83-70: Published: May 31, 1983. Publicly Released: May 31, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Department of Defense (DOD) policies and practices for procuring commercial transportation services for small lots of hazardous or sensitive cargo.

GAO found a number of problem areas in the management of small-lot shipments of hazardous and sensitive cargo that resulted in excess transportation costs and lost opportunities to use the best possible transportation services. Specifically, GAO found that: (1) most of the cargo had been routed to truck companies, although air taxi rates and services were competitive with truck rates and services; (2) a specific air taxi operator received a greater portion of the traffic than another operator who was in a position to compete effectively; (3) military routing officials had not followed DOD policies and criteria on routing; and (4) overall and specific DOD cargo shipping requirements, such as the location of the traffic and its pickup and transit needs, were not being adequately transmitted to companies wishing to compete for DOD business.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO has received the information, but it is incomplete and non-uniform.

    Recommendation: The Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) should compile, maintain, and use information related to installation shipping and receiving capability and to carrier performance that will ensure equitable consideration of both air taxi and truck carrier services in the routing of small lots of hazardous or sensitive cargo.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Military Traffic Management Command

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: MTMC should routinely make cost and other types of comparative analyses of both air taxi and truck service when routing small lots of hazardous or sensitive cargo.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Military Traffic Management Command

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: MTMC should enhance competition between air taxi operators and truck carriers by regularly disclosing to them the opportunities for them to participate in the business.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Military Traffic Management Command

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: MTMC should ensure that sufficient records are maintained to demonstrate to interested parties, such as carriers, that equitable cargo distribution policies are being followed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Military Traffic Management Command

 

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