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Department of Family Medicine

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Newcomer Information - Shipping

(Below are questions that previous incoming interns had concerning their move to Hawai'i and the Graduate Medical Office response to these questions. Please review the following to see if your question has been answered before.)

General Information

Transportation offices are usually known as JPSSOs (Joint Personal Property Shipping Offices). You don't have to go to an Army installation if a Navy, Air Force, or Marine bases are closer. Please refer to the link above when determining what can and cannot be moved as household goods (weight limits, unauthorized items, etc.)

The Fort Lewis JPSSO site has a map whereby you can click on a state that lists the military installations in each state. If your state has no installations pick an adjacent state.

Please don't forget to consider storage options for your household goods, particular-ly if you are only coming to Tripler for your internship year. Houses and apartments are usually on the small side compared to what you might find on the mainland. If you won't need something it may be worth considering putting it into storage. Contact your supporting transportation office for information regarding your entitlements and options.

Please click on the following link to set up an account to have your household good and unaccompanied baggage shipped. The site has a self-counseling file that will help you work through the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Being an "outside the continental United States" assignment – will the Army pay to put items in storage that we do not want to ship out to Hawaii as part of our shipping allowance? I was previously in the Army and did a tour in Germany and that was the policy then. I currently have a full house of furniture and etc., and anticipate if I decide to purchase a condo in Hawaii – it will be closet sized (tiny). Otherwise, I have a LOT of stuff I need to start to get rid of. For I was previously told our report date was around the middle of June – so I have even less time after med school to purge my personal property.

You should be authorized to place your items in long-term storage because this is an overseas assignment but please confirm this with your transportation counselor. Here's a couple of websites that have information about moving and storage entitlements: moving tips and relocation and moving. However, the information is subject to your confirmation with your transportation counselor.

Some of you with a lot of stuff may want to consider the long-term storage option since houses here are somewhat smaller than what you may be accustomed to on the mainland. The following websites also offer good moving tips: Smart Web Move, Moving Tips and MilitaryHomefront.

How do I ship my totally awesome sea kayak to Hawai'i?

The shipment of any boat is unfortunately limited to 13 feet X 10 Feet. This includes a 17.5 foot X 2 feet, 65 pound sea kayak. After speaking with the Personal Property Transportation Office the issue is that a special container would have to be made to accommodate this fairly light yet awkwardly sized property. Such a shipment would cost about $2,000 from the East Coast to Hawai'i per kayak. Also a boat cannot be counted as a POV.

I was wondering if you had any advice on how I can find out who to contact to set up shipment of my household goods. I just got my orders today, and there is no information on who to contact--no phone numbers, etc. It simply says to contact my "trans off". I've tried contacting my recruiter, but he has not responded. I've also tried looking at all the websites you suggested for help, with no success. I live in Southern California, and cannot seem to find out who or what to call. Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Your AMEDD personnel counselor (recruiter) or the local Army recruiting office--contact someone there if you can't get a response from your recruiter--are key to assisting you in locating the appropriate transportation office. The local Army recruiting office should have useful contact information given that they have to facilitate the movement of new recruits.

I did find this website that links to Department of Defense (DoD) installations. I clicked the "Army" link and got to this webpage. I then selected the "Installations and Facilities" link on the left hand side and then clicked the link to "Forts." It got me to a detailed listing with links to the various Army forts. The only Army fort listed in California is Ft. Irwin. After going to the Ft. Irwin website I found the webpage for the personal property shipping office. Contact the outbound section: (760) 380-7220/4252/3824/3058. Maybe it can steer you in the right direction.

However, my understanding is that the nearest DoD transportation/personal property shipping office should be able to assist you, not just the nearest Army office. This website has a map that lists the major military installations in the 50 states but doesn't provide links to the installation websites.

I heard that the military moving happens in two stages - first one is the main process which involves all household goods, a car, etc. But there seems to be a second shipment which involves last minute necessities good up to 500 or 700 lbs and is shipped via DHL or UPS so it only takes a couple of DAYS, not two months, for me to receive it in Hawai'i. Do you know anything about it?

You are referring to "Unaccompanied Baggage." Unaccompanied baggage consists of items you will need immediately on arrival at destination, pending receipt of your household goods. It is packed and shipped separately from your household goods. Items most often included are seasonal clothing, essential linens, cooking utensils and dishes, baby cribs and infant-care articles, a small radio, portable television and items required for health and comfort. You should also include professional books, papers and equipment needed immediately to perform your official duties. If included, the weight of professional items is not included in the weight charged toward your maximum authorization. Each branch of the armed services has rules regarding when and how much unaccompanied baggage may be shipped. After reviewing your orders, the counselor at the transportation office can determine your unaccompanied baggage entitlement and advise you about delivery times.

I contacted the Transportation Office at Schofield Barracks and was told that the Army does not ship unaccompanied baggage via air. I was also informed that unaccompanied baggage is frequently picked up the same time as household goods. That means that it would take the same amount of time as your household goods depending upon when you arrange for pick-up. Contact your Transportation Office to see if it is possible to have a separate, earlier pick-up of your unaccompanied baggage so that it may be here by the time you arrive. I was also told that the Transportation Office here prefer to arrange concurrent delivery of unaccompanied baggage and household goods so that would defeat the purpose of shipping unaccompanied baggage early.

You may also ask the counselor about getting a "UB Mail-Out" letter that would allow you to mail some of your unaccompanied baggage via the post office to an address here. You would need to find someone here to accept your shipment and could ask your sponsor if s/he would be willing to do so. You would need to keep your receipts and a record of the weight so that you could be at least partially reimbursed. But talk to the counselor about the rules. I doubt that you would be allowed to mail the items via air mail if you intend to file for reimbursement.

Here is a Web site on moving tips that is linked to (part of) the Air Force Web site. If anyone can shed further light on unaccompanied baggage shipments, please feel free to tell us about your experience(s).

Can I ship a motor scooter in addition to my automobile?

My transportation office said a scooter or motorcycle is included in the weight allowance as household goods. So as long as you don't exceed this it will be covered.

Who do we contact to schedule our move to Hawai'i, i.e. our furniture, beds, cars etc. and do we need our orders prior to contacting them?

Your orders will advise you to contact the local Transportation Office to arrange for shipment of your personal property. Your AMEDD procurement counselor (recruiter) should assist you with getting the telephone number(s) to the Transportation Office and Travel Office that will support your move. Coordinate with your recruiter immediately if you run into problems coordinating any desired transportation or travel arrangements based on how your orders are published. And you may also inform our office of any issues that you run into.

Transportation Offices will not make arrangements to ship your property un-less you have orders in hand but the staff should answer any questions you may have regarding timetables, shipping allowances, etc. This Web site may provide you with some useful information on planning your move. However, the Transportation Office may be able to provide you with more relevant information.

Does the Army take care of the cost of moving upfront or do we have to pay for it ourselves and then be reimbursed for it?

The Army takes care of the cost of moving up front. You are responsible for the cost of shipping a second motor vehicle and would also be charged for any additional costs should you exceed your weight allowance. I believe that the maximum weight for household goods is 13,000 lbs for unaccompanied and 14,500 lbs for accompanied.

I recently got married and my wife and I are currently living in two places. Would it be advisable for us to move all of the stuff that she is going to take to one location e.g. my house?

Check with the Transportation Office to see if you can have your belongings picked up from both locations if that works best for you. If you aren't locked into a lease at both residences you may want to consolidate to save on rent. Balance the rental savings against any moving costs that you will incur to consolidate your household.

How long on average does it take for our valuables to be shipped to Hawai'i?

It depends on where you are currently located. There are no guarantees on delivery. I pulled the following information from our Troop Command's Web site for new arrivals. Note: Check with the Transportation Office to see what the timetable is.

Keep in mind the following average time-frames for shipping and receiving your household goods.

If shipping from the West Coast, your property should arrive in Hawaii within 45 days.

If shipping from Central U.S., your property should arrive in Hawaii within 50 days.

If shipping from the East Coast, your property should arrive within 55 to 60 days.

These are averages and not absolutes, but they are a generally good guideline to follow when planning your move.

Is there a particular date when most people have their valuables moved by to take advantage of the greater free time available in June for us to get moved in?

The sooner your ship your personal property the greater chance that it will be here by the time you are ready to move into permanent housing. Use these delivery timetables for backwards planning: 45 days from the West Coast, 50 days from the Central U.S., and 60 days from the East Coast.

This page is maintained by the Department of Family Medicine, ATTN: MCHK-FM, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96859-5000. Phone: (808) 433-6174.