Jerry Leama, a mover with Barry Van Lines, carries a box of household goods onto a moving truck on Dover Air Force Base, Del., July 16, 2021.

Jerry Leama, a mover with Barry Van Lines, carries a box of household goods onto a moving truck on Dover Air Force Base, Del., July 16, 2021. (Nicole Leidholm/U.S. Air Force)

The Defense Department is free to move ahead with its effort to streamline the global system of shipping household goods after a federal agency on Thursday denied bid protests by a pair of firms over the $6.2 billion contract.

The U.S. Transportation Command in November awarded the hefty contract to Houston-based HomeSafe Alliance LLC for what the government describes as “complete door-to-door” transportation of household goods for the military, Coast Guard and federal employees.

A few weeks later, American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group and Connected Global Solutions — both unsuccessful bidders in the solicitation — appealed the award to the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO announced on Thursday it had denied their appeals. It has not yet issued written decisions outlining the basis for the denials.

HomeSafe will begin a transition period lasting through December during which it will develop and test interfaces with the federal government’s information technology system as well as establish customer service capabilities, the Transportation Command said in a news release Friday.

HomeSafe hailed the GAO’s decision in a statement Thursday, saying the firm would “dramatically improve the relocation experience for our service members, civilians and their families.”

American Roll-On said it was “disappointed” about the decision.

“We will review the GAO decision and evaluate next steps, including any further legal action,” the company said in a news release Thursday.

The protest denial is just the latest twist in the awarding of a contract for moving household goods.

American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group was originally awarded the contract in April 2020.

HomeSafe and Connected Global Solutions appealed the award to the GAO, which sustained their protest in October 2020.

As a result, the government once again solicited bids and late last year selected HomeSafe, prompting the latest protest by American Roll-On and Connected Global.

The selection of a single company to handle the movement of all goods is meant to streamline a system that uses more than 900 commercial entities for the roughly 325,000 annual shipments of household goods, according to U.S. Transportation Command.

The change is driven by steadfast complaints by military families about delays in pickups and deliveries of goods and damage to items during transportation.

author picture
Wyatt Olson is based in the Honolulu bureau, where he has reported on military and security issues in the Indo-Pacific since 2014. He was Stars and Stripes’ roving Pacific reporter from 2011-2013 while based in Tokyo. He was a freelance writer and journalism teacher in China from 2006-2009.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now