How to Hire Your Own Movers for Your Next PCS

One of the most common questions about Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves is, “Should we be making a personally procured move (formerly known as a Do It Yourself Move) or should we let the government move us?”

It’s a great question, and the answer depends on a variety of factors unique to you and your move. But what you may not have considered is that a personally-procured move doesn’t have to be “Do It Yourself” – that’s one of the reasons the name changed.

But wait, Kate, what do you mean?

That does not exist they need to do your PPM. It just means you don’t use the government hired moving companies. You can pay someone to do some or all of it – packing, loading, driving, unloading, unpacking. You can even hire your own movers to handle the entire shebang.

Why doesn’t everyone just hire their own moving company to move their belongings? As with so many things, it’s all about money. Well, and some paperwork.

They are compensated for a PPM at part of the rate the Department of Defense would cost if moved with their contracted moving company. This rate is typically 95%, although it temporarily increased to 100% by December 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DoD moving companies went through a competitive process to get these contracts so they kept the price pretty low. You may not be that successful at finding a moving company that is willing to do all of the work (packing, loading, driving, unloading, and unpacking) for the amount the government is going to pay you.

But maybe you don’t want someone to do everything. You might just want help with part of it like loading and unloading or driving or whatever. Many people would prefer to pack their own things or have a helpful unit that will happily fill a truck or self-packing container. In that case, a PPM where you pay another company to do some of the work might be perfect for you. There are resources available to rent out any or all of the parts of the job while you do the parts that work for you.

The other problem is paperwork. The compensation for a PPM is based on the correct weight evidence. (The details vary and change between branches. Make sure you know exactly what weight receipts you need for your branch and when you are moving.) There is a sense of control as you drive this truck to the weigh station yourself physically hold on to these weight slides. There can be a chance that things could go wrong relying on an outside party to get this evidence for you. If you do choose to have someone else do the driving, make sure you have a procedure in place to ensure you get your weight slide.

Whether you are facing a PCS move in the near future or just thinking about how you would do your final step differently, consider the option of a PPM where you don’t do everything yourself. It could be the choice you are looking for. Contact your service’s Home Goods Movement Bureau for information on classes or more details on how this works for you and your specific situation.

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