Vehicle Shipping Company Unable to Deliver on Time

ialThe United States Transportation Command announced a few changes of its own prior to the beginning of this year’s hectic season for change-of-station moves for troops.Among the announcements, a new contractor would be taking over the shipment of personal vehicles, and additional pick-up and drop-off locations, as well as a new website for tracking shipments, would be available. The command expected a seamless transition; however, that was unfortunately not the case.

Instead, International Auto Logistics (IAL), was unable to deliver thousands of vehicles on time during the summer months, and continuously struggled to provide accurate vehicle-tracking data to troops. In fact, some delays were so long, that some troops began to question if their vehicles had been lost.

Retiring Air Force colonel Rondall Rice shipped his wife’s vehicle from Germany to the United States on May 16. The vehicle was scheduled to arrive by the end of June, but did not arrive until a month after its original delivery date.

“Most larger auto shipping companies use some sort of automated tracking systems that works VIA GPS on the truck, at Dependable Auto Shippers we are using a system called Tracalyst, a system that that tracks the vehicle as well as tell us not the location but the how long it has been driven how fast how far,” says Jon Krueger of Dependable Auto Shippers. “Smaller mom and pop transporters typically have to call in to advise of the location of their trucks.”
During transit, Rice was convinced the company had no idea where the vehicle was. “My car could be lost, it could be at the bottom of the ocean,” Rice wrote to vehicle shipping officials. “It could have been stolen and some Somali pirate might be driving it in Mogadishu.”Some civilians and service members became so frustrated by the delays and inaccurate information that they took legal action against IAL, filing a class-action lawsuit in August. The original suit claims over $5 million in estimated damages and is still pending.

It is unknown exactly how many late deliveries were made during the summer. According to Transportation Command officials, federal regulations prevent them from announcing such figures, and IAL refused to provide the numbers when requested in October.

However, an email from a high-ranking Transportation Command official, released on Facebook, claimed that as of Aug. 19. IAL had processed “27,358 vehicles: 14,154 vehicles are currently in transit with approximately 70 percent late in meeting the required delivery date.”

Although this figure is far below IAL contractual obligation to deliver 98% of vehicles in a timely fashion, the Transportation Command indicated the company met the threshold required to revoke the contract.

Instead, the Transportation Command cited the legal struggles of the previous contractor as a factor in the shipping issues. American Auto Logistics filed a bid protest following its loss of the contract to IAL. The protest was turned down by the Government Accountability Office, only to be appealed by American Auto Logistics in the Court of Federal Claims.

This legal battle prevented IAL from taking over the contract until May, which is the beginning of the busy international car shipping season.

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