Privatizing PCS Moves: What You Need to Know As HomeSafe Alliance Takes Over

A mover in a T-shirt and shorts fits a brown-paper-wrapped bed frame into a tall crate packed with other brown-wrapped belongings.
Movers pack a military member's property into boxes and load it into crates to be transferred to a temporary storage facility in O'Fallon, Illinois, July 1, 2019. (Stephenie Wade/Air Force)

The first U.S. service members will experience the Defense Department's new privatized system for managing household goods during personnel moves this spring, according to U.S. Transportation Command.

The command awarded the Global Household Goods Contract, which hands over management of the military's household goods operation, to HomeSafe Alliance in 2021. Delays in the transition from the existing government-run system to the new privately run system included a court challenge of the contract award and, after that resolved in the DoD's favor, problems with the interoperability of two new digital apps.

In April, TRANSCOM and the individual military services announced the first 14 installations where limited trials of the new system will take place in the form of local "test moves" within 50 miles rather than fully fledged permanent changes of station (PCS).

Officials said the new system represents "a much smoother, modern, and overall improved experience." Here's what's currently happening with the rollout of the DoD's Global Household Goods Contract and what to look forward to in the future for PCS moves.

'Test Moves' Are Happening at 14 Bases This Spring

TRANSCOM and the military services selected 14 installations within five particular geographic areas as the first places where HomeSafe Alliance will begin managing military household goods moves under the new contract.

The five geographic areas where test moves will take place starting in April, include Norfolk, Virginia; Jacksonville, North Carolina; Seattle/Tacoma, Washington; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California; and San Diego.

The initial 14 installations within those geographic areas where HomeSafe Alliance will manage household goods test moves include:

Initial Phase Is Just for Local Moves

The test moves will start out local, officials announced in April. TRANSCOM considers local moves to be those moves "which are packed, picked up, and delivered" within about a 50-mile radius of the base. Such situations might include a housing assignment into or out of government quarters or a service member's "retirement, separation, or other special circumstances."

Starting out with a small number of moves "provides us the opportunity to ensure our systems and processes are working smoothly before they affect a larger group of service members and families," said Andy Dawson, director of the Defense Personal Property Management Office, in a statement.

Officials expect fewer than 1% of moves to happen under the new system through July 2024 and fewer than 2% in August 2024.

Most Peak Season Moves Will Stay Under the Old System

TRANSCOM officials said in the April announcement that during this summer's peak moving season, which runs from May 15 to Aug. 31, the DoD won't add "test moves" at any other installations than the initial 14.

Additionally, it "will only order a limited number of domestic shipments" under the new contract overall, meaning "most service members and their families will move under the current household goods program, not under [the Global Household Goods Contract], during the 2024 peak moving season."

Longer Moves, More Locations Will Phase in Systematically

After HomeSafe Alliance has executed moves "successfully according to contract requirements," TRANSCOM and the services expect to start approving more moves from the initial bases as well as out-of-state moves from those locations "in the coming months."

The command expects the proportion of shipments under the new system and number of U.S. locations to increase after the 2024 peak moving season, projecting that 4% of domestic moves will occur under the new system in September, 10% in October and November, and 20% in December, with the domestic phase-in concluding in 2025. International shipments are expected to begin no earlier than September 2025.

Questionnaire Will Help Identify Initial 'Test Moves'

To help more easily identify which moves are local, all service members requesting a shipment this year, no matter where they're located, will fill out a questionnaire on the Defense Personal Property System landing page, according to TRANSCOM's April announcement.

Access to the questionnaire is via

TRANSCOM "will monitor these initial moves closely to identify and address any performance issues quickly, and use feedback we receive from service members, making adjustments as needed," Dawson said.

Chosen Households Will Log In to 2 New Digital Apps

Once selected for a move managed by HomeSafe Alliance, service members will first need to go to the DoD's new MilMove digital application followed by HomeSafe Alliance's HomeSafe Connect.

Troops and families will "onboard" on the DoD's MilMove app, where they'll upload their orders and other information and request a pickup date.

"After a shipment order is sent from MilMove to HomeSafe, customers will be referred to HomeSafe Connect to manage and track their shipment through the household goods shipment life cycle," according to TRANSCOM.

The life cycle includes pre-move surveys and arranging the packing, pickup and delivery, with the HomeSafe Connect app also acting "as a secure and personalized move portal for planning, accessing valuable information, and receiving updates throughout every stage of a household goods shipment."

Vendors Receive Training on the New System

TRANSCOM described the new system as "a significant change for industry providers working under the current household goods program." These subcontractors provide services such as packing and transportation. The command said it has "conducted regular engagements" with the subcontractors.

In a separate announcement in April, HomeSafe Alliance said it had "already selected and trained the providers" that will perform the first moves under the new system. CEO Robert Nicholson said the company's "network of partners" had "seen tremendous growth over the past few months."

Households will be able to look at pictures of their service providers in the HomeSafe Connect app to confirm the providers' identities when they show up.

A Single Customer Service Contact Will Be Available 24/7

One big difference service members and families will notice at moving time will be easy access to help from a customer care team, HomeSafe Alliance told in 2023.

That instant access to customer service is "drastically different" from today, when customers "have questions/concerns and are unable to pinpoint the appropriate point of contact who can answer their questions and resolve their issues," the company officials said.

TRANSCOM continues to update resources on its transition to HomeSafe Alliance as the military's exclusive private-sector move manager. Look for more information at and

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