The Chairman's Corner
By John Chipman, Jr.
Did you miss the October Surprise? It wasn’t a political one. It wasn’t the Dodgers’ World Series victory over Tampa Bay. And it wasn’t that most Californians didn’t hand out Halloween candy during a pandemic. Nope.
The “surprise” was to the Moving & Storage industry when on October 21, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) decided to sustain protest challenges against Transcom’s decision to award the Global Household Goods Contract (“GHC”) to the American Roll-On-Roll-Off Carrier Group (“ARC”). The ARC Group also includes UniGroup, Atlas, Suddath, Pasha and Deloitte. The GAO’s announcement was unexpected, because since April the moving industry’s conventional wisdom was ARC would prevail, and the only issue was how long would it take protesters to exhaust their administrative and legal remedies without success.
Publicly the ARC Group’s reaction to the GAO ruling was diplomatically muted. For example, a statement from Suddath said: “We are disappointed with the decision.” However, one Van Line leader with knowledge of the situation described the GAO’s decision as a “total stunner”.
While the GAO’s entire ruling has not yet been made available, the GAO sided with both protesters, HomeSafe Alliance and Connected Global Solutions, agreeing that Transcom’s decision to award the GHC was based on “flawed evaluation conclusions” and was not a “best-value decision.” There was also allegation of prior misconduct.
With approximately 400,000 military families moving annually, Transcom is often described as our industry’s biggest national account. The GHC is worth more than $7 billion. So Transcom’s next step will be very important to CA movers and suppliers.
What’s going to happen? According to Transcom, “The four offerors originally determined to be the most highly rated proposals will have until Dec. 2, 2020, to submit new proposals, with new oral presentations planned for January 2021. Thereafter, USTRANSCOM will review the new proposals and oral presentations, and plans to award the contract in early June 2021…Upon granting the award, a nine-month transition period will begin with the awardee, and the first personal property shipments under the GHC will occur during the 2022 peak moving season.”
In other news, the American Moving & Storage Association (“AMSA”) closed its doors in Virginia on October 16, 2020. This was not a surprise. California Movers will be well represented in the new American Moving & Storage Conference (Moving Conference) of the American Trucking Association (ATA). Most importantly for our state, six CMSA members will be serving on the Moving Conference’s new board of directors, including Steve Weitekamp (CMSA’s fearless leader), Jeanette Homan (Lambert Enterprises), Chris Higdon (California Moving Systems), and yours truly. Additionally, Bill Lovejoy (Republic Moving & Storage) will not only be on the Board and its Executive Committee, but he will also be the fledgling Conference’s 2nd Vice Chairman.
That means with a little bit of patience, Bill will be leading our industry’s largest trade organization in a few years. Bill says he is up for the challenge: “AMSA conferencing with ATA will provide great benefits to our members. Besides dynamite advocacy, our members will have access to tools AMSA has had in the past, as well as ATA’s vast resources for the industry!”
Finally, last but certainly not least, the sixth CMSA member joining the Moving Conference will be Griselda Gonzalez (CG Moving Company). Griselda has plenty to contribute as a board member. With 12 years of contracting and finance experience in our industry, she is uniquely qualified to represent the interests of growing, independent movers in California. She will also bring important diversity to the new Moving Conference Board. Additionally, as co-chapter president (with her sister, Olga) of CMSA’s Northern Region, Griselda understands the challenges of navigating the choppy waters of California’s legislative and regulatory environment. Best of all, she is emblematic of our country’s success. Griselda grew up in El Salvador and emigrated as a teen to the US. She graduated from Jefferson HS in Daly City. As a working mom, Griselda received her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State.
Griselda is excited about joining the new board: “My background has shaped my professional life in being able to move with the flow, become adaptable and resourceful. I look forward to bringing my voice and experience to the new Moving Conference.”
Griselda and the other five CMSA members look forward to the challenge of serving and will play a significant role on the new Moving Conference Board.
November 2020 - CMSA Communicator