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News | April 2, 2018

TRANSCOM/DLA partnership results in transportation contract improvements

By Emily Tsambiras DLA Distribution Public Affairs


On February 12, DLA Distribution began utilizing one of the largest logistics contracts ever awarded by the U.S. government.  The Defense Freight Transportation Services (DFTS) contract, a long-awaited collaboration between the United States Transportation Command and DLA Distribution, launched as an upgrade to the Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative (DTCI), which aimed to provide a single touch point for DoD shipments by allowing a commercial third party firm to manage and coordinate transportation.

When DTCI was implemented in 2008, its goal was to improve efficiency, reliability and predictability of shipments across DD by increasing the best practices of load consolidation, shipment planning, cross-docking operations and routing services.

To prepare for the conclusion of DTCI, DLA Distribution began working with TRANSCOM and DLA Headquarters Transportation Policy in 2012 to develop the Performance Work Statement for the follow-on contract, DFTS.  

Once the PWS was established, Distribution had a representative on the Source Selection Board as well as the Source Selection Acquisition Council reviewing the proposals submitted by Industry and providing technical review and comment towards final selection to ensure it best fit Distribution’s needs.

According to Sherri Troup, DLA Distribution Transportation Operations chief, the collaboration was important because DLA Distribution could provide firsthand examples of what worked and what didn’t within the previous contract.  “We feel the lessons learned from DTCI enabled us to come to the table and develop a strong PWS that provides our distribution centers with more manageability and flexibility in their day-to-day transportation operations than they had under the previous contract.”

Although DFTS operates under the same concept as DTCI, there are a few significant changes, says Troup.  “All eligible freight not covered under other contracts is included as well as visibility of pricing, which are both features not included in the previous contract.”

Additionally, the contract includes other improvements such as: three-tier pricing strategy based on response times providing cost-savings opportunities; Key Performance Indicators tracked at both the enterprise and individual site levels; and an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract allowing flexibility to go outside the contract in the event that the contractor is unable to properly support DLA’s mission.

While DFTS’ main customers currently only include DLA and the Defense Contract Management Agency, the contract allows for the Services and/or other Federal agencies to join, if desired.