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  2. Integrated Product Support (IPS) Element - Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation (PHS&T)

Integrated Product Support (IPS) Element - Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation (PHS&T)


One of the 12 Integrated Product Support (IPS) Elements. The combination of resources, processes, procedures, design, considerations, and methods to ensure that all system, equipment, and support items are preserved, packaged, handled, and transported properly, including environmental considerations, equipment preservation for the short and long storage, and transportability. Some items require special environmentally controlled, shock isolated containers for transport to and from repair and storage facilities via all modes of transportation (land, rail, air, and sea).

Alternate Definition


General Information

As discussed in Appendix A of the Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook and the IPS Element Guidebook, the objective of this element is to identify, plan, resource, and acquire PHS&T requirements in order to maximize availability and usability of the materiel (to include support items) whenever they are needed for training or missions.

PHS&T sub-elements are defined as follows:

  • Packaging provides for product security, transportability and storability.  The nature of an item determines the type and extent of protection needed to prevent its deterioration, physical and mechanical damage. Shipping and handling requirements, as well as the length and type of storage considerations, dictate cleaning processes, preservatives and packaging materials.
  • Handling involves the moving of materiel from one place to another within a limited range and is normally confined to a single area, such as between warehouses, storage areas or operational locations, underway replenishment, shipboard cargo holds, aircraft, or movement from storage to the mode of transportation. 
  • Storage infers the short or long-term storing of items.  Storage can be accomplished in either temporary or permanent facilities of varying conditions, i.e., general purpose, humidity-controlled warehouses, refrigerated storage and shipboard.
  • Transportation is the movement of equipment and supplies using standard modes of transportation for shipment by land, air and sea. Modes of transportation include cargo, vehicle, rail, ship and aircraft.

 Key activities include:

  • Short- and long-term preservation
  • Packaging requirements determination
  • Containerization requirements determination
  • Shelf-life requirements determination
  • Handling requirements determination
  • Transportation requirements determination
  • Environmental control requirements determination
  • Physical shock control requirements determination
  • Static shock control requirements determination
  • Security classification requirements determination
  • Container Reutilization
  • Marking

PHS&T processes are essential components of effective Supply Chain Management. An efficient PHS&T system introduces minimal administrative delay time or errors, and results in material shipments at the "right place at the right time", thus improving system availability and lowering overall life cycle cost. Typically, a PHS&T system might include elements of total asset visibility, which allow both providers and users information to maximize resources and efficiency, while minimizing unnecessary delays or duplicative efforts, thus helping reduce costs.