Make Preliminary Shipping Decisions
Next make some decisions based on the information you’ve gathered and requirements such as governing regulations, contract, or tender of service requirements.
Packaging and equipment
Determine whether you need anything special in terms of packaging, protection equipment, or a trailer such as flatbeds, box truck, tanker, etc.
Decide whether your shipment requires services above the basic transportation service of moving goods from point a to point b -- also known as accessorial services or accessorials.
Choose the mode(s) you will use. The mode is a method of transportation, such as rail, motor, air, water, pipeline, or multimodal (two or more modes).
Your shipping urgency and any special handling requirements determine which mode of transportation you select. Each mode has unique requirements for documentation, liability, size, weight and delivery time. Hazardous materials, radioactive, and other specialized cargo may require special permits and may limit your choices.
Certain shipments may require two or more modes (multimodal). For example to ship via air, rail, or ocean you may need to arrange to have the cargo delivered by a truck to the air, rail, or ocean carrier.
Transportation service providers (TSPs) usually bundle cargo into larger units that can be easily handled, moved, and stacked. The customary cargo unit varies by mode and vehicle. If you don’t have enough cargo to fill a unit, you may need to get the TSP to consolidate your goods with those of others.
|Mode||Customary cargo unit||What to do if your cargo doesn't fill a unit|
|air||pieces or pallets||
Select the procurement option that best suits the situation.
Use one of our options.
Transportation Management Solutions Services 2.0 (TMSS 2.0)
Use TMSS 2.0, our automated solution to manage your freight and household goods (HHG) shipments from booking a shipment online to settling the final bill.
Participating TMSS 2.0 TSPs consent to comply with a GSA tender of service, an agreement that includes rates and rules for performing general freight services for federal agencies.
Multiple Awards Schedule (MAS) Transportation and Logistics Services Category
Use another agency's transportation contract.
- The agency issuing the contract must have:
- statutory authority to procure transportation on behalf of other agencies or
- a delegation of authority from the GSA Administrator to procure transportation on behalf of other agencies.
- The contract must allow its use by other agencies.
When shipping small parcels use the mandated solution, the Department of Defense’s Next Generation Delivery Services (NGDS) contract unless you have an approved exception.
Contract directly with the TSP.
You must use the acquisition rules under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 47 Transportation.
Negotiate a government rate tender.
A rate tender is an offer from a TSP to an agency for service rates and charges. You can negotiate a government rate tender under the authority of a government traffic statute, Title 49 U.S.Code Section 13712 for truck or Title 49 U.S.Code Section 10721 for rail.
For the pros and cons of each procurement method, reference the Federal Management Regulations Subpart B—Acquiring Transportation or Related Services.