Evansville-based Atlas World Group Inc., the parent of Atlas Van Lines, has been awarded a portion of a $7.2 billion contract to help relocate U.S. military service members and their families around the globe. The deal could mean the creation of 200 new positions for the southern Indiana employer.
Atlas is part of a consortium that received a three-year contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to move members of the military.In any given year, the U.S Transportation Military Command is relocating 400,000 families.
“The U.S. Transcom was self-administering (the moves) and they felt they were not good at it,” said Jack Griffin, chairman and chief executive officer of Atlas World Group. “For the lack of a better term, they’ve attempted to privatize the shipment management and supply chain management.”
Atlas is a subcontractor for New Jersey-based moving and logistics company American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group Inc.
The U.S. Transcom has awarded ARC and its partners a new multiyear contract to handle all global relocation services for troops, their families, DoD civilians and their household goods.
‘It’s completely different than how it was handled before. U.S. Transcom had 900 Transportation Service Providers (movers) across the U.S.,” said Griffin. “It’s our belief we can deliver a superior experience for the service member and do it cost effectively for the U.S. military.”
Griffin explained this is the first time the DoD appointed a single commercial move manager to oversee the domestic and international movement and storage-in-transit of service members’ household goods.
“The military is expecting nothing short of 24/7 call center support. This is a whole new level of service.”
Atlas is just one of several moving companies to make up the consortium. Two others are direct competitors of Atlas, including United Van lines and Mayflower Transit.
“This makes for strange bedfellows,” admitted Griffin. “We compete with each other on the commercial side, but we’re partners for the DoD.”
The contract is for a three-year period, including an initial 9-month transition. But the contract could last as long as nine years if the Pentagon exercises all of its options to extend.
Because of the contract, Atlas said it will be hiring upwards of 200 people for its Evansville campus within the next 18 months. The company currently employs 400 people at the headquarters.
“The state of Indiana, the city of Evansville, it’s good news as far as growing employment, getting people to move here and growing the tax base,” Griffin said.
The timing of the announcement is not lost on Griffin, who said the global healthcare crisis has been tough on his business.
“The world is on fire right now with COVID-19 and our industry is not immune to it,” said Griffin. “When houses don’t sell, people don’t move. We, as an industry, have been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus.”
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Atlas World Group CEO Jack Griffin said moving military personnel occasionally offers unique challenges.