Centralized Department of Defense Management of Cargo Shipped in Containers Would Save Millions and Improve Service

LCD-77-227: Published: Nov 8, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 8, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The Military Traffic Management Command and the Military Sealift Command divide management responsibilities for selecting containers for cargo going overseas, often preventing the Department of Defense (DOD) from getting the lowest transportation costs. Both Commands make adequate selections for each portion of the movement, considering the information they have and their responsibilities. However, if shippers submitted enough cargo information and responsibility and information were centralized, better selections could be made.

DOD could have saved about $12.9 million of the more than $200 spent on overseas cargo shipments in fiscal year 1976 though use of an effective central management system and better use of up-to-date computer technology to select the most economical shipping arrangement. Transportation service to DOD shippers could also have been improved, reducing the shipping times. Less shipping time lowers the inventory costs which the Department estimated could be millions of dollars each year.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should designate a central manager for carrier and container selections. The central manager should obtain detailed cargo information from shippers and use available computer technology to make the best selections for origin-to-destination shipments of cargo sent overseas.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 13, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 16, 2018

Feb 15, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 31, 2018

Jan 18, 2018

Jan 10, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here