Container-Oriented Logistics System:

Will It Be Ready When Needed by the Department of Defense?

LCD-77-234: Published: Dec 21, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 1977.

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The efficiency of container shipping has produced a sharp decline in the number of conventional U.S. flag ships. Because of this and the Department of Defense's (DOD's) reliance on U.S. flag commercial shipping, DOD sought to improve its policies, procedures, and methods of shipping ocean cargoes. Recognizing that containerization would be essential in providing logistical support to military forces overseas, in 1970 the Joint Logistics Review Board recommended early development of a container-oriented logistics system for DOD. At present, critical elements of such a system are still lacking, and problems exist which would preclude effective use of the system in an emergency.

DOD could achieve greater progress in container system development by: strengthening its central management of the program, including improving the central management body's decisionmaking process; developing a comprehensive container system plan; and implementing a management procedure to assure accomplishing containerization objectives. The Secretary of Defense could call for greater control, direction, coordination, and monitoring of the military services' contain containerization development efforts.

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