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PowerTrack use soars for MTMC freight shipments. (GBLs plummet).

The use of Government Bills of Lading for Department of Defense freight shipments has been slashed.

Contract documents have plummeted as the Military Traffic Management Command has mandated the use of USBank's PowerTrack automated software across the spectrum of its freight shipments.

Most freight delivered by motor carrier, ship, barge, railroad or pipeline must use PowerTrack to receive a contract to carry MTMC freight. Currently, one of the few exceptions is for personal property carriers.

The increasing use of the automated payment software has cut DoD Government Bill of Lading use by 97 percent for the year 2000--from 65,000 to 2,000.

The use of GBLs is widely unpopular. Commercial carriers complain the government-unique documents require extra time and labor.

"This is a huge success story," said Tom Hicks, coordinator.

Some 479 carriers are now eligible to receive PowerTrack payments, said Hicks.

In excess of $335 million in freight charges have been paid in 2000, he said.

"Eighty-five percent of the payments were made in three days," said Hicks.

For the accelerated payment, USBank charges carriers a fee on a sliding scale, up to two percent of the freight bill.

In the past, commercial carriers would wait 30 to 90 days to be paid via the manual payment process of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

The successful implementation of the program is a result of MTMC's partnership with industry, said Hicks.

"We got out our message repeatedly," said Hicks. "We involved carriers and had industry meetings and lots of publicity."

Carriers now eligible for PowerTrack include many members of the National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc., of Alexandria, Va. The association has 200 members, ranging from firms with a few vehicles to several thousand, said Clifford Harvison, President.

Harvison helped get PowerTrack information to members of his trade association.

"PowerTrack is known to those who have to know," said Harvison, who has served as the organization's chief executive since 1972.

Many bulk carriers specialize in such non-military loads as food concentrates or chemicals, he said.

What is the carrier reaction to PowerTrack?

"The jury is still out," said Harvison.

"They are getting their money more quickly, but less of it."

Harvison said he used association newsletters and e-mail to get the word out to his members. When he had questions, he called MTMC contacts such as Hicks for answers.

What is next in the use of PowerTrack?

Hicks said he will increase the use of PowerTrack to additional MTMC carriers. These groups include break bulk cargo ocean carriers and inbound container transporters.

The adoption of PowerTrack is part of Management Reform Memorandum #15, a Department of Defense initiative to use electronic systems to automate and standardize military processes with the commercial world.
COPYRIGHT 2001 U.S. Military Traffic Management Command
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Military Traffic Management Command
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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