NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Employees at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution continue to identify opportunities to improve support to the Warfighter. In a recent continuous process improvement event the team made recommendations to reduce ineligible cargo sent to the consolidation and containerization points, and created a new partnership with U.S. Transportation Command to identify ineligible cargo destined for overseas shipment.
As far back as 2017, it was identified that DLA Distribution CCPs receive an average of 3,000 ineligible shipments per month. Defining the count and source of this ineligible material made the impact something that could be measured and calculated.
The team not only identified extra man hours to reroute the shipments, but also additional costs to process and route through the proper transportation modes.
Analysis of the problem found a wide range of reasons why so much ineligible material was being sent to CCP and not routed to the end destination by the proper means. Everything from customers overseas, to vendors along the supply chains were sending material to CCP thinking this was the proper way to get material overseas, without first checking to see if it fit within certain criteria to be shipped through the CCP.
It became clear there was a need for improved communication and training with both vendors and customers. Material was sent to the wrong place, sent to CCP even though it shouldn’t have been, when it should have gone through other channels and means to make it to the end destination
Each of these improvements and communication points along the way totals up to a win for DLA Distribution and the warfighter together.
Early 2020 saw DLA Distribution sharing data and information with TRANSCOM to come up with a solution to the volume of ineligible material received. The joint team identified a phased approach, focusing on ineligible cargo on the West Coast at the San Joaquin CCP, with later phases set to address Susquehanna CCP and Norfolk Intermodal Hub.
A large volume of material was arriving at DLA Distribution San Joaquin, California, destined for overseas shipment, but was ineligible for CCP as a shipping point. This material still needs to make it the end overseas destination, so something had to be done, hence the on-going development of solutions in conjunction with TRANSCOM.
The continuous loop of improvements to the CCP process are made possible with open and direct dialog with the end customers of CCP. This assists DLA Distribution in meeting the ever-evolving needs of the customer as technology, requirements, regulations and end destinations evolve over time.
“Working with the various supply chains and military services has allowed each entity to not only understand the impact individual processes have on their own agency, but how the process impacts other agencies,” said Wendy Evans, traffic management specialist. The input from end user customers, as well as DLA Distribution employees handling material, has led to several key learning moments throughout the process and continues as the program evolves.
There is an ever-present need for ongoing communication and education of both vendors and customers alike. Unsurprisingly, most of the findings from the initial research indicated issues were most relevant to codes and addressing used to properly identify cargo destinations.
As key areas for improvement are identified, employees at DLA Distribution work toward refining and carrying those improvements along. Our customers and warfighters will often find themselves around the globe, far from a fixed home location. Ensuring they receive the best, most accurate and quickest logistical support is part of the mission of DLA Distribution and one that must evolve with our warfighters as their mission also evolves.