Enhanced Asset Awareness for Supply Chain Assurance

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution initiated a continuous process improvement project in June 2020, with a goal of accounting for and reporting improperly marked freight received at DLA Distribution centers on the east and west coasts of the United States.

By Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution

From Armor & Mobility, Fall 2021

When DLA Distribution receives shipments that are not properly labeled, packaged or certified to be shipped to warfighters overseas, the non-compliant shipments cause delays and increase costs to the services, DLA and the national supply chain.

“The implementation of this process will ensure supply chains are aware of non-compliant shipments, allowing for collaboration with their supplies to ensure overseas warfighters receive material without delay,” said Sherry Amrhein, project lead and DLA Distribution CPI program manager.


The team reviewed data on shipments received at two strategic distribution platforms within the continental U.S. Currently, when non-compliant shipments arrive, it is remediated by DLA Distribution workers and sent out without documenting what the issue was, the amount of time and resources needed to remediate the shipment, or where the shipment came from.

For example, a vendor recently shipped four pallets of hazardous material to DLA Distribution. The shipment was not compliant with International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the international maritime shipping regulation created by the United Nations. DLA Distribution workers had to break down each pallet, relabel each individual box with the hazardous material information, repalletize, shrink wrap and complete hazardous certifications before the material could be shipped to the warfighter.

Streamlining Support to Vendors

To address this issue, the CPI project team designed a process to account for and report remediation work received from various sources. This process involves notifying the source of the non-compliant shipment, to help identify the root cause and assist supply sources and vendors with improving packaging for future shipments.
Using the new process, when shipments arrive at a consolidation and containerization point or transshipment point that are mislabeled or packaged, DLA Distribution will create a supply discrepancy report that identifies the reason for remediation and associated costs to the source of supply.

In addition, DLA will seek collaborative joint efforts with contracting officers and government purchase card holders and their vendors to provide information to support compliance with shipping requirements — proper packaging, labeling and including proper OCONUS hazardous shipper declarations.

DLA Distribution will launch the new process for reporting remediation work in early fiscal year 2022.