DLA, AMC DPO team improves air shipment processes

DLA, AMC DPO team improves air shipment processes

Faster and more efficient handling of air cargo shipments will be the first improvements military customers see as a result of teamwork between the Defense Logistics Agency and the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command.

Representatives from DLNs Defense Distribution Center and AMC have met throughout 2004 as part of the ongoing Distribution Process Owner (DPO) partnership between U.S. Transportation Command and DLA to improve the support to the warfighter.

Early successes include a significant increase in “pure pallets” constructed from DDC depots and AMC aerial ports. Pure pallets are built for a single customer or an authorized group of customers. The pallets require much less handling, which means quicker delivery because the materiel flows more directly to the warfighter.

“We’re talking about major improvement in the way DLA and AMC work together and how we help our customers,” said Vince Trinka, Chief of Transportation Policy in DLA’s Logistics Operations. “The big picture fostered by the DPO is to synchronize all supply chain processes so that as material moves through various distribution and transportation points, we don’t have backlogs, we don’t have delays and the material is able to flow through the ‘pipeline’ seamlessly.

“These improvements give our customers more information, further in advance, allowing them to plan their workload and keep the materiel flowing. The key word is synchronized,” he continued.

Additionally, in response to a DPO request for DDC to prepare more cargo at its consolidation and containerization points by Aug. 1, a significant amount of the cargo that was previously sent loose to the AMC aerial ports will be processed at the DLA consolidation and containerization points. This will significantly improve the process of building pure pallets by providing the DDC consolidation and containerization points more volume through a single consolidation point, equating to fewer and larger pure pallets moving more quickly to the warfighter.

“DLA and AMC are committed to the remarkable men and women serving our country today,” said Patricia Kuntz, Chief of DDC’s Logistics Support Division. “We are constantly looking at ways to improve our support to our forces and speeding supply deliveries by streamlining and synchronizing our processes benefits everyone.”

In addition to directing more material into the DDC consolidation and containerization points, a number of information and data flows were improved. DLA and AMC have established processes to directly feed AMC systems with needed data, dramatically speeding information flow.

“The second quick improvement was simple and implemented immediately,” Trinka said. AMC asked to get dimensions for air cargo pallets in height, weight and length, in addition to cubic feet. Detailed dimensions allow AMC to load aircraft faster, speeding the materiel flow to the warfighter.

Also, effective July 26 DLA will begin sending the actual bill of lading electronically to the AMC aerial ports. That means as the trucks are leaving the distribution centers, the aerial ports are getting electronic notification so they’ll know precisely which shipments will be arriving within hours.

“The ultimate target is to provide as much data as possible before cargo is scheduled to arrive at the port,” Trinka said, “with a constant flow of updated information as the cargo moves through the system.”

The United States Transportation Command is the single manager of America’s global defense transportation system. USTRANSCOM is tasked with the coordination of people and transportation assets to allow our country to project and sustain forces, whenever, wherever, and for as long as they are needed. The command is composed of three component commands: The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and the Army’s Military Traffic Management Command.

Defense Logistics Agency provides supply support, and technical and logistics services to the U.S. military services and several federal civilian agencies. The agency is the one source for nearly every consumable item, whether for combat readiness, emergency preparedness or day-to-day operations. The Defense Distribution Center is a field activity of DLA.

COPYRIGHT 2004 U.S. Department of the Navy, Supply Systems Command

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group