Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between rates for Department of Defense (DoD), Non-DoD, and Non-US Government Channel Rates?
The DoD rate is developed using a commercial benchmark. The Non-DoD rate is the DoD rate plus recovery of salaries of the civilian and military aircrew supporting the aircraft. The Non-US Government rate is the Non-DoD rate plus certain civilian labor costs (fringe benefit costs for unfunded civilian retirement, post-retirement health benefit and post-retirement life insurance costs) and an asset use charge.
Can a Non-DoD customer get the DoD rate?
Yes, 10 U.S.C. §2642 authorizes the SECDEF to approve the use of DoD Transportation Working Capital Fund (TWCF) rates to Non-DoD federal customers, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers, and DoD contractors transporting goods or supplies for DoD, when the practice promotes the improved use of airlift capacity without any negative effect on national security objectives. The request for DoD airlift services must promote the improved use of the Defense Transportation System (DTS) airlift capacity by increasing the utilization of military airlift or commercial civil reserve air fleet capacity assigned to existing air traffic routes and through introducing new, unbudgeted transportation requirements into the DTS. Here are a few examples: transportation of materiel supporting Overseas Contingency Operations, humanitarian/disaster relief efforts, or the transportation of other federal cargos currently moving through Non-DoD means.
The template for this request can be found at http://www.ustranscom.mil/dbw/rates.cfm.
Can I get a discount for shipping more volume or scheduling early?
Yes, for channel cargo, there are five weight breaks so the heavier the shipment, the less per pound is charged. For charter missions, there is a scheduling 10% incentive (discount) for missions validated 30 days or more prior to the operating date without any significant user changes. For commercial airlift, the discount is applied to the airlift contract cost prior to any miscellaneous or administrative service fees. Excluded from this incentive are domestic commercial airlift and presidential (POTUS, PHOENIX Banner, PHOENIX Silver) flights.
Are there fees associated with cancelling a scheduled Special Assignment Airlift Mission (SAAM)?
Yes. For organic aircraft: if a SAAM mission is canceled at the user’s request within 24 hours of operation, a 2-hour Minimum Activity Rate (2 hours of flying time) may be charged. If the mission was launched from a positioning station prior to cancellation, all hours flown will be charged (minimum of 2 hours). Charges are not levied for cancellation made greater than 24 hours before mission operation.
For commercial aircraft: if a mission is cancelled at the user’s request, a cancellation or suspension fee may be charged to the user for that mission. Cancellation fees are calculated per the Uniform Rates and Rules for International Service.
What is the difference between Channel Air and SAAMs?
Channel Air is regularly scheduled airlift for movement of passengers and sustainment cargo, depending on volume of workload, between designated routes over validated contingency or distribution channel routes. These services are either billed per pound or per passenger, without regard to the aircraft providing the lift.
Further details regarding these types of missions can be found on the USTRANSCOM rates website (http://www.ustranscom.mil/dbw/rates.cfm); reference the Channel Guidance.
SAAMs are airlift requirements utilizing organic or commercial aircraft for special pickup or delivery by AMC, usually at points other than established AMC routes. SAAMs require special consideration because of the location, number of passengers involved, the weight or size of the cargo, the urgency or sensitivity of movement. These services are billed by flying hour for organic aircraft. For commercial aircraft, the services are billed to recover the commercial contract cost plus a 10% cost recovery rate.
Further details regarding these types of missions can be found on the USTRANSCOM rates website (http://www.ustranscom.mil/dbw/rates.cfm); reference the SAAM/Joint Exercise Transportation Program (JETP)/Contingency Guidance.
If I need an Air Cost Estimate where do I send the request?
Email required information listed below to firstname.lastname@example.org. Information needed for a less than planeload Channel estimate includes: rate type (DoD, Non-DoD, Non-US Government, or FMS), to/from locations, weight and dimensions (length, width, height) or number of passengers. Information needed for an entire aircraft SAAM/JETP/Contingency estimate includes: rate type (DoD, Non-DoD, Non-US Government, or FMS), to/from locations, size of shipment to determine aircraft size (further contact may be needed for clarification).
If a Channel rate exists, does that mean there is a valid Channel for that selected route?
No, rates are available for many zone to zone combinations, but only certain channels are available within those zones. To locate the current channels, refer to the AMC Air Channel Sequence listing which incorporates all current validated airlift channel routes available throughout the year. The Air Channel Sequence listing can be downloaded from the TACC website at: https://tacc.us.af.mil (must have permissions) or call commercial 618-256-3614 (DSN 576) to request a current copy. If assistance is needed on the rate, please submit a request via email to the email@example.com.
Why does Single Mobility System (SMS) not always provide a Liner or Port Handling cost estimate?
Liner and Port Handling rates are set based on recovering costs associated by traffic area pairs, booking terms, and commodity codes. Rates are no longer set for those combinations without historical cost and workload. In those instances, SMS will not produce a cost estimate since the rates are unavailable to produce the estimate.
How do I get a cost estimate for Liner or Port Handling when a stabilized rate is not published?
If a stabilized rate is not available, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a cost estimate.
How are SDDC rates determined?
Rates are calculated using a weighted average of last year’s cost within a traffic area plus a cost recovery rate to recover Transportation Mission Enabling Support Costs, Management Headquarters Activity Costs, and return/recover Accumulated Operating Result.
Why is the SDDC Liner door to door rate (booking term 9) in some cases lower than door to port (booking terms 5 and 6) or port to door (booking terms 7 and 8) rates?
Since SDDC Liner rates reflect historical movements occurring in traffic areas and commodity codes, the historical costs for linehaul and accessorials will vary by booking term which can cause door to door rates to be cheaper than a door to port or port to door rate in some cases.
Do Liner and Port Handling rates always reflect the cost paid by USTRANSCOM?
Liner and Port Handling rates are based on a weighted historical average costs per measurement ton. Consequently, the rates reflect historical movements occurring in traffic areas and commodity codes in previous fiscal years. Movement requirements during the current year may differ from historical trends, thus the rate may not perfectly align with cost. Please contact email@example.com with any operational changes in workload that may deviate from historical trends.
How is it determined that a movement is a One Time Only (OTO)?
A One Time Only shipment is defined as a non-recurring, specialized move or a shipment with unique requirements that are not part of the Universal Services Contract (USC). This type of movement is negotiated by a spot bid or directly with a qualified carrier.
What is included in the Liner Billing Rate by Booking Term?
|Booking Term||Origin Linehaul||Embarkation Port Handling||Ocean||Destination Port Handling||Destination Linehaul|
When Port Handling is not included in the Liner booking term, Port Handling charges are added using the SDDC Port Handling Rates to complete the cost estimate. When Linehaul is not included in the Liner booking term, the customer is responsible for getting their cargo to/from the seaport at an additional cost not covered by the TWCF billing rate.
What is the difference between Free In (FI)/Free Out (FO) and Liner In (LI)/Liner Out (LO)?
FI/FO and LI/LO describes who has responsibility of cargo. Under USC-7 contract, when cargo is booked as FI or FO, the US Government shall bring the cargo into the holds, stow it and/or trim it, tally it, lash it and/or secure it (FI), and take it from the holds and discharge it (FO) with customary dispatch, free of any risk, liability, and expense whatsoever to the contractor. When cargo is booked LI or LO, the contractor is responsible for the loading and/or discharging of cargo at port of origin and/or destination and all costs associated thereto. From a rates perspective, LI/LO means the Port Handling will be done under the USC contract and the cost will be recovered with the Liner Rate, while FI/FO generally means the Port Handling will be done under a Stevedoring and Related Terminal Services (S&RTS) contract and the cost will be recovered with the Port Handling Rates.
How does USTRANSCOM define multimodal (MM)?
Generically, MM can be defined as any transportation event where more than one type of conveyance is utilized. In practice within USTRANSCOM, MM is defined as having an Airlift and Sealift leg. MM has a number of different characterizations that impact course of action (COA) cost estimates. When discussing MM it is important to clarify which characterization is under consideration.
100% Commercial Multimodal (CMM) Contract: Commonly called CMM, this approach refers to transportation utilizing the Commercial Multimodal Contract. 100% CMM is a less than shipload, less than planeload contract.
Organic Air, Multi-Modal: This approach refers to using organic airlift (where organic means gray tail aircraft, AMC or MIL AUG) and transitioning to current USC commercial sealift or vice versa.
Commercial Air Charter, Multi-Modal: This approach refers to using full plane commercial charter airlift and transitioning to current USC commercial sealift or vice versa.
Will rates be modified during the year when there are changes (e.g., fuel adjustments)?
Transportation rates generally remain stable throughout the fiscal year. Stabilized rates protect appropriated fund customers from unforeseen cost changes and enable them to more accurately plan and budget for transportation support requirements. However, a recent capability to audit and identify changes from historical costs may enable rates to be changed within the year of execution or modified based on direction of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).
Rates for the current fiscal year and the two preceding fiscal years are provided on the website. Where can I obtain rates prior to this timeframe?
Email a detailed request for information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I get a listing of commonly used transportation acronyms and abbreviations?
To get access to acronyms/abbreviations, definitions, and references associated with USTRANSCOM and the movement of cargo, visit the Defense Transportation Regulations (DTR) page and click on the applicable link under “Quick Links” found here: Acronyms