An official from Internal Auto Logistics (IAL), the third-party contractor that ships the personal vehicles of military service members, has reported that the delays experienced this summer are finally beginning to clear. As of just yesterday, troops have access to a website that allows them to track the locations of their vehicles online.
This new tracking capability should go a long way easing the minds of anxious customers, although some are still understandably upset about the delays and damages to their vehicles. In an effort to offer better customer service and more accessible information, IAL has contracted a separate call center to field questions. Thanks to this new system, IAL is hoping that inquiries into vehicle location should be answered within 48 hours.
Ken Quinn, senior vice president and chief financial officer of IAL, assures everyone that "in less than 30 days, the backlog will be relieved and all will be flowing smoothly." IAL attributes the confusion and backlog to record numbers of vehicles being shipped at once, while some in the military blame IAL's lack of organization.
Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul H. Guemmer is currently working to make sure that service members understand their rights as customers and know what they can expect from IAL in the case that something goes wrong with their shipment. If a vehicle is delayed beyond seven days, customers can file an inconvenience claim and will be reimbursed for emergency lodging and rental car expenses, as well as any damages incurred while under IAL care.
Guemmer is trying to provide another layer of accountability for the service members awaiting car deliveries. He says, "Our assessment teams and contracting officer representatives have surveyed container freight sites and every vehicle at those facilities. We are reconciling our data with IAL's to ensure information on the IAL website is accurate and timely."
It seems that both IAL and the military are striving to amend the situation, and hopefully the remaining vehicles will arrive at their destinations very soon. Shipping any volume of goods is complicated, so be sure to demand responsiveness and accountability from your third-party logistics firm and remain in communication throughout the transport process.