Military Sealift Command (MSC) provides high-quality, efficient and cost-effective ocean transportation for the Department of Defense and other federal agencies during peacetime and war.
USTC will execute sealift movements through Military Sealift Command (MSC) and Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC). Planners within these organizations will work together to provide optimal transportation solutions that are cost efficient and operationally effective and are within policy and law.
- Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) provides commercial sealift for customers through Liner Service.
- Charter vs. Liner Vs Organic: By policy USTRANSCOM must consider commercial assets before organic assets. Charter and Liner services are commercial methods of moving cargo with different benefits.
- Liner Service: Executed by FAR based contracts such as the Universal Services Contract (USC) and facilitated by SDDC. Liners are commercial vessels with fixed schedules that charge on a by piece/measurement ton basis. No government control. Usually best for smaller shipments.
- Charter: Ships contracted by MSC are billed on a per diem/fuel used rate. MSC controls schedule based on customer need. In most cases the entire ship is contracted and MSC has Operational Command (OPCON) , additionally the vessel has sovereign immunity. Usually best for larger or special needs shipments.
- Organic Vessels: Government Owned/Contractor Operated (GOCO) vessels that can be used by Department of Defense (DoD) customers to move cargo. MSC has OPCON on vessels and each ship is awarded sovereign immunity. By policy commercial sealift must be considered first. Billing similar to chartering a vessel. These vessels are usually used when no commercial lift is available or there is a special requirement.