Material Handling Equipment--A Weak Link in the Defense Logistics Chain

LCD-79-212: Published: Aug 10, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 1979.

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Although material handling equipment is vital to moving cargo efficiently, it has apparently remained low on the Department of Defense's (DOD) list of priorities when competing for resources. This is evidenced by the fact that the material handling equipment fleet has not kept pace with the shift from break-bulk to containerized shipping practices, and problems identified years ago still have not been resolved.

Much of the material handling equipment used overseas is old and will soon exceed its life expectancy, if it has not already. Maintenance of material handling equipment has been adversely affected because of its age and lengthy delays in obtaining repair parts. There are shortages of material handling equipment needed to efficiently handle and process cargo shipments. In terms of efficiency, material handling equipment used overseas is marginally adequate for peacetime operations. More importantly, problems with material handling equipment could result in units being unable to meet surge requirements of a wartime contingency.

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