Unused Cargo Space on Military Aircraft Returning to the United States

NSIAD-83-19: Published: Aug 9, 1983. Publicly Released: Aug 9, 1983.

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GAO evaluated the Military Airlift Command's (MAC) air freight service TP-4 program to determine to what extent military shippers were utilizing cargo space on military flights returning to the United States from overseas.

GAO found that, although a significant volume of cargo was transported by the MAC system, MAC aircraft were still returning with unused space. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense (DOD) was paying commercial ocean carriers to move its cargo from countries served by MAC. GAO estimated that DOD could have reduced its ocean transportation costs by about $3.4 million from October 1980 through March 1982. GAO concluded that constraints on use of MAC aircraft could be overcome with more effective program management.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should instruct the services to place a sufficient amount of their general cargo and household goods shipments into the MAC system to use MAC airlift to the maximum extent possible and direct MAC to provide the services with sufficient and timely notice of available space.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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