Portal - March/April 2021


Washington, DC and California—
Where the Action Was!


By Rick Curry


As I “look back” at 1994, it was a year of many “firsts” and the start of many changes that would happen in the military, industry and our association. For certain, the matters that occurred would challenge a “seasoned” Executive Committee, which probably led to those who were serving in leadership to be elected as future chairmen and/or Hall of Honor inductees. Three cities—Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco—were on our travel schedule to tackle serious issues facing our industry.

The same subjects dominated the committee meetings and Portal magazine editorial during the year. Below are the issues and a discussion of what was happening on them during 1994; it may bring back memories for some of us.

  1.  $1.25 Carrier Liability—In January, William Cawood and Christina Quattrociocchi of the General Accounting Office (GAO) gave the Executive Committee an overview of the data analysis of the $1.25 liability rate that was proposed by the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC). They also indicated that they would not study the impact of the interim $1.80 rate before the completion of the $1.25 study.
    HHGFAA (Household Goods Forwarders Association of America) had hired Craig Orfield to develop and direct our legislative and regulatory program in the middle of 1993. Craig organized our first formal effort to work with Congress on Capitol Hill to understand our position on this matter and other issues affecting our industry. It was an eye-opening experience for many of our members as they met with congressional members from their districts and states.
    In May, we had a return visit from GAO after they completed their study. By the end of the year, we were successful in obtaining language in the DoD Appropriations Bill to extend the $1.80 per pound per article through September 30, 1995.

  2. Total Quality Assurance Program (TQAP)—Many changes were proposed to this program. MTMC was attempting to reduce administrative burdens for the Personal Property Shipping Offices and industry. Their proposed changes made matters worse, increasing paperwork and workload.

  3. Domestic Test Program—Robert Moore, DCS-OPNS, MTMC, led the effort to re-engineer this program. Some of the changes recommended were to have a one-year rate cycle; have carriers only meet the low rate and nothing in between on the me-too filing, and to award the low rate with an incentive. At the end of the year, we had not heard anything from MTMC except that there were three teams and Logistic Management Agency working on the Domestic Program.

  4. EDI—It was to begin in August, 1994, but was postponed until June, 1995.

  5. MTMC Carrier Review Board—We were successful in persuading the Army Judge Advocate General to overrule MTMC in providing general details on the Carrier Review Board cases. This was a major win in allowing us to review the decisions and treatment of the military in these cases.

  6. New Commander—Brig. General Roger G. Thompson assumed command of MTMC on May 19, 1994, replacing retiring Major General Richard G. Larsen.

  7. New Code 4.5—MTMC was evaluating such a program using the MSC contract and possibly eliminating a competitor.

  8. New Code 3—MTMC test between the West Coast and Japan, Korea and Okinawa utilizing container rates in the Military Sealift Command’s Worldwide Container Agreement. HHGFAA wrote a letter to General Thompson to delay the test for six months to determine whether this new code of service could be incorporated into Code 4 or 7.

  9. Gypsy Moth—New: On July 1, 1994, carriers were given $40.00 for every shipment to provide the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) clearance.

  10. The industry was concerned with timing of the TAAFLO Rate Filing. TAAFLO would change their rate after the initial rate filing.


  1. See page 50 on various “firsts” at the 32nd Annual Meeting.

  2. New Training Video—the Agents Training Video and Manual for Containerized Shipments was produced and filmed by Jack Benke and Rick Curry at the Port of Los Angeles and Rebel Van Lines Warehouse utilizing their crew. The video demonstrated the high standards and professionalism of our industry. We provided copies of the video to Congress and military shipping offices.

  3. RIM (Registered International Mover)—This was a certification program that was owned by the National Moving and Storage Association (NMSA). HHGFAA wanted to have a training program for the membership. There were many meetings and hours of discussion on whether we should form a joint partnership with NMSA on RIM. These discussions would continue into 1995.

  4. Updated Commercial Shipping Guide was distributed to the membership.


Department of State (DOS)
  1. Steve Hartman, DOS Chief of Transportation, gave a presentation to the Executive Committee in January, 1994. He was concerned about obtaining consistent quality of service and wanted tougher quality standards, and said DOS was willing to pay higher rates to obtain the service.

  2. At the Annual Meeting, it was reported that DOS had 165 outbound and 16 inbound shipments. It was a slow start as DOS worked to convince their staff to utilize the new service.


Other news:
  1. The HHGFAA office was relocated to Virginia on June 1, 1994.

  2. New financial software was installed.


Training Videos were made in Los Angeles, California, board members visited Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and the Annual Meeting was held in San Francisco. 1994—what an active year on both coasts!

32nd Annual Meeting, 1994

St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, California

Another first for the year 1994 was for the Annual Meeting to be held at the historic St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. The hotel is recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the Historic Hotels of America. Some famous people who have stayed at the hotel were Queen Elizabeth II, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito and many past presidents from William Taft forward.


The Annual Meeting also had some more “firsts” emphasizing commercial business:

  1. The Exhibit area offered for the first time professional-looking pipe-and-drape display space at a fee to exhibitors.

  2. The featured speaker was Frank Sesno with CNN International. (He is an Emmy-award winning journalist, currently director of strategic initiatives at George Washington University).

  3. In continuing our Commercial Relocation Panel presentation, we welcomed some new participants:

    1. Carolyn Ellis, CH2M Hill International,

    2. Donna V. Hopper, Apple Computer,

    3. Connie Addington, Marathon Oil Company,

    4. Diane Knight, McDonnell Douglas, and

    5. Dennis O’Brien, Morrison Knudson.

  4. The new packing video was shown to the membership.

  5. A new presentation, Total Quality Management, was given by Bill Rose, Willis Corroon


What’s next in 1995? The Annual Meeting was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Hawaii; the first of three trips to the hotel complex. It is always nice to be in paradise.

AM1994San Francisco_CommlAffairs.jpg

1994 Annual Meeting Commercial Relocation Panel