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SDDC partners with Defense Distribution Depot Korea, Busan Storage Facility to improve container distribution in the Korean Theater of Operations

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (USTCNS) --- The 837th Transportation Battalion is doing their part to help boost the container management initiative within the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command by working to improve the distribution of containers within the Korean Theater of Operations.

The battalion's Cargo Documentation Section, based on Pier 8 in Pusan, Korea, recently conducted an internal review of contract requirements to prepare for a 2006 contract award. As a result of their efforts the "Kargo Kings" were able to identify shortfalls that will be improved to make the distribution process more efficient.

"By modifying the shipping terms, the end product is a reduction in overall customer wait time and, a reduction in multi-handling, transshipping, damage, loss and overall transportation costs for the customers and tax-payers alike," said Lt. Col. Richard Kramer, 837th Transportation Battalion commander.

To develop a plan of action the 837th's CDS tallied a year of statistics on all containers un-stuffed at the Pier 8 Break Bulk Point.

"The final data included the number of containers, consignees, pieces, weight, cube, customers and installation destination of all cargo," said Dr. Hui Chul Son from the 837th Transportation Battalion.

"Using this information, the battalion generated a four-phase course of action which we briefed to and was accepted by organizational leadership and customers within the area," said Kramer.

Phase I, completed in March, changed the terms of the Universal Service Contract to L Term (local drayage) for all lumber and plywood containers from Pier 8 delivery to the Busan storage facility for un-stuffing, inspection, storage and later for transshipping to final destination customers.

"The drayage costs are the same, but using Korean Service Corps or National Labor for un-stuffing is more economical than using the contract labor required at Pier 8," Kramer said. "The change affects nearly 240 containers annually."

During Phase II, a change was made to the USC shipping terms from local drayage to M Term (door-to-door) and changed the destination location from Pier 8 to the Defense Distribution Depot-Korea at Camp Carroll, Waegwan.

The lieutenant colonel added that 35 percent of all cargo in this category is usually destined to DDDK for storage. "All other cargo in these containers is un-stuffed and immediately cross-docked for the already scheduled and normal transportation distribution routes for installations throughout the KTO from Camp Carroll."

In addition to this, in early April, the Kargo Kings began working Phase III of their container management solution.

The team met with Col. Doug Sarrano, commander of the Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin, Calif., to discuss improvements for shipping configurations of container cargo to the KTO. The San Joaquin facility manages west coast shipping for U.S. Pacific Command customers. By working with the facility the battalion hopes to adjust customer cargo chutes so that the containers stuffed would go directly to installation supply points or major customers, thus eliminating the cross docking step at Camp Carroll where ever possible based on volumetric shipping data.

"The results of this action are much improved efficiency and reduced customer wait time," said Lt. Col. James Lippstreu, DDDK commander. Another part of the proposal would be the use P Term (multi-stop) containers for customers with too small of a shipment to fill an entire 40-foot container. This would allow the carrier to make 2-3 stops with the same container at different installations, vice unloading and transshipping the cargo on different vehicles, which would slow up overall delivery times.

As these changes begin to take affect, Kramer is already looking forward to making further container management improvements for the KTO.

"Phase IV is essentially a list of initiatives we want to work with the theater staffs to improve the container distribution through the KTO," Kramer said. "In the future we want of conduct more container distribution analysis with our partners, prepare a concept of operations for cross docking and changing radio frequency identification tags from 40- to 20-foot containers, test the Web-based container management support tool in the KTO, and work with the theater on how to best set up and run a Theater distribution center for containers in a contingency situation."

Other elements would include preparing recommendations for the placement of material handling equipment in the KTO and providing feedback with the theater to San Joaquin on when to switch from 40-foot equivalent units to 20-foot equivalent units during contingency operations.

“The change from supply bases logistics to distribution based logistics effects every logistician in the services. The first three phases of our improvement initiative really streamlined the container distribution business by reducing multiple handing, and at the same time putting the execution in the hands of the depot with the core competency of receipt, transshipment, storage or issue. Phase IV will be taking lessons learned and processes used from OIF and OEF and applying them to the KTO for both peacetime and contingency operations.

(Information compiled by Robyn Mack, 599th Transportation Terminal Group Command Affairs Officer)

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