Frequently Asked Questions

Surface Request

  1. Is USTRANSCOM Surface Transportation modes strictly Military or can they can be commercial, too? Both
  2. How do you apply for Surface Transportation? Request thru appropriate COCOM/POC at USTRANSCOM.
  3. Is Surface Transportation just for cargo or passengers? Just cargo only, no passengers.
  4. Can cargo be shipped to CONUS & OCONUS locations? Yes.
  5. Who/what establishes the priority of the requested Surface Transportation? J3 USTRANSCOM. The effective use of DoD transportation resources to move passengers and cargo requires the establishment of transportation priorities. These assigned transportation priorities enable logistic managers to determine mode and sequence of movement in
  6. meeting both peacetime and wartime requirements. CJCSI 4120.02 A - Assignment of Movement Priority. Appendix A of JP 4-01 Joint Staff will assist if needed to mediate.
  7. Does the requester have to pay for the movement? Yes.
  8. Is there a way to calculate an estimate of what Surface Transportation would cost? Yes. Personnel at USTRANSCOM, or anyone with access, can utilize the Single Mobility System (SMS) Wizard to calculate a rough estimate of what a request for a specific type of Surface Transportation mode (or combination of modes) would cost. This is true with all Surface Transportation modes.
  9. What are the types of cargo that can be surface transported? Just about any type/size or weight of cargo can be transported.
  10. How much cargo can be transported? No limit with surface mode.
  11. Are there any limits to the dimensions of the cargo? No.
  12. Is there any weight limits on cargo? No.
  13. Are there any restrictions as to what type of cargo can be eligible to transport? Yes. (Animals are one example of cargo that is not permitted to be transported via surface mode)
  14. Can hazardous material, (hazmat), be transported? Yes. The Transportation Officer, (TO), at origin certifies the hazmat.
  15. If sea vans required for the cargo who pays for it? The Service who validates the shipment.
  16. Who works with the requester on the size, number and type of Surface Transportation movers needed to fill a request for cargo movement? The planners and validators.
  17. If a quick CONUS shipment is required can it happen? Yes. Truckers need a 4 hour minimum to execute movement. In CONUS trucks can cover 500-700 miles per day 8-10 hours of driving time, with extra driver they can travel non-stop.
  18. Is shipping by Rail faster than by Truck? In CONUS shipping by Rail usually takes longer than Truck due to interchanges, e.g. 12 days from DC to LA.
  19. Are all shipments by sea on Military Sealift Command, MSC, vessels? No. In fact, most DoD cargo is transported on commercial vessels.
  20. Who determines when the shipment will be transported? The Latest Arrival Date LAD is determined by the shipper who works with the Service validator.
  21. Are Surface Transportation missions on scheduled departures and arrivals? Yes.
  22. Who will coordinate with the requestor for the details on submission of a Surface Transportation request? SDDC POC.
  23. Can you request to use Surface Transportation at any time? Yes
  24. Is there a required minimum number of days to submit work the request, i.e. in emergency situations? Depends on request.
  25. How much lead time is required for the request? The further out the request date the better it is to work the request.
  26. Is return Surface Transportation available? Yes, COCOMs have Booking personnel (TSC)
  27. Who arranges for cargo to get to the POE for movement? Requestor/user? Depends on how it is booked. It could involve changes in modes, such as vessel to truck to rail.
  28. Who arranges for the cargo to get picked up at the APOD? The booker. Depends on how it is booked. It could involve changes in modes, such as vessel to truck to rail.
  29. Can surface shipments go anywhere? Surface shipments have global potential, commercial ships can transship cargo to feeder vessel. MSC vessels limited to specific ports.
  30. Can you use different modes of surface transportation in conjunction with other modes of Surface Transportation? Yes.
  31. Does anyone sign for the cargo? Yes, after inspection the TO or representative signs for it on both ends, before shipping and after shipping.
  32. Can an escort accompany the shipment? No.
  33. How is customs or inspections handled for passengers and cargo? The shipper/TO provides the customs documents. (If cargo has NSNs it’s usually good to go because an NSN identifies it to be DoD type cargo.
  34. Who arranges the diplomatic clearances? The carrier/shipper.
  35. Is there a way to track the shipment? Yes, (container #s, SMS, GATES, GTN, RFID, GBL’s)
  36. Can USTRANSCOM track the shipment if there is a mission number assigned? Yes, by a Transportation Control Number, TCN. Integrated Booking System (IBS) will give a TCN. Shipper creates a TCN for oversized cargo.
  37. What are some useful hyperlinks for Surface Transportation movement information that we can attach?
    • SDDC website (Defense Transportation) is good source for information)
  38. What are some additional information references on Surface Transportation?
    • Defense Transportation Regulation, Universal Service Contract, (USC) USC-7.
    • Hazmat covered by 49 CFR
    • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)
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