In theory, Department of Defense containers are to be located at ammunition depots throughout the U.S. They can be used to move some peacetime cargo but are supposed to be maintained in near-perfect condition and available quickly in case of an emergency.
In practice, the containers may sit at overseas destinations for prolonged periods of time and are often used to move cargo other than ammunition. Returning empty containers is expensive and maintenance is difficult. "Considering the average age of the containers is 12 years, you can see the problem we have," said an MTMC official.
Under the new concept, MTMC will gradually withdraw from owned containers. Instead, a single private contractor will be responsible for maintaining a specified number of containers at key facilities and geographic locations. The company selected will also maintain the containers and replace them as they are shipped.
MTMC is developing a work statement and expects to have a contract in place by October 2002.