Perhaps as a precursor to more formal consolidation of dropship facilities ("network realignment" in postalspeak), USPS has been reshuffling its dropship map in recent months. Coupled with reduced dropship incentives for the Periodicals class and rising freight costs (see "Death of the SCF"), the result is that mail pools are delivering to fewer facilities. That has caused widespread confusion (and lost postal discounts) for publishers, other mailers, and their presort and freight vendors.
For example, USPS's official lists of dropship locations still show Wilmington, DE as a Sectional Center Facility (SCF) and Area Distribution Center (ADC) serving all of Delaware. But to get dropship discounts on Delaware copies, they have to be delivered to the South Jersey ADC in Bellmawr, NJ. St. Pete is still on the official list of SCFs (affectionately known as L005), but most Periodicals for St. Pete have to be dropshipped at the Tampa ADC to get SCF discounts.
In the mail-preparation process, the mailer still has to designate entries for St. Pete and Wilmington. But then USPS tells the logistics people to take those copies to Tampa and South Jersey. That has led to arguments between presort people and logistics people, sometimes in the same company.
When the Postal Service tries to change where incoming mail is handled, Congressmen and editorial writers get all up in arms about the loss of the local postmark -- and postal jobs. That happened in Wilmington, among other cities. But shifting where dropshipped mail is sorted rarely causes a media or political stir.
Some of the "redirections" apparently are in preparation for the Flats Sequencing System (FSS). For example, the Northern Virginia ADC and Dulles, VA SCF have both been redirected to the building in Sterling, VA where the first live runs of FSS are occurring. The North Metro, GA ADC and Atlanta SCF have been similarly redirected to a different Atlanta location.
The Postal Service's lists of ADCs and SCFs show no hint of these redirections. In fact, nowhere has USPS provided an explanation of redirections or a comprehensive list of these exceptions to the dropship list. The only way to find them is by navigating the USPS's clumsy FAST system (https://fast.usps.com/fast/). To make it even more confusing, some of the redirections apply only to certain sub-classes -- so that, for example, daily and weekly news Periodicals go to one facility and monthlies to another.
In hopes of clearing up the confusion, Dead Tree Edition is offering this exclusive (and, we hope, complete) list of redirections affecting at least some types of Periodicals flats. Listed first is the official ADC or SCF city, followed by the location of the dropship facility:
- Manchester, NH ADC: Nashua, NH
- Staten Island, NY SCF: Brooklyn, NY
- Glens Falls, NY SCF: Albany, NY
- Buffalo ADC, Jamestown, NY SCF, and Elmira, NY SCF: Rochester, NY
- DuBois, PA SCF: Johnstown, PA
- Oil City, PA SCF and Bradford. PA SCF: Erie, PA
- Wilmington, DE ADC: South Jersey
- Northern Virginia ADC and Dulles, VA SCF: Sterling, VA
- North Metro, GA ADC: Atlanta
- Lewisburg, WV SCF: Bluefield, WV
- Beckley, WV SCF: Charleston, WV
- Mid-Florida ADC: Orlando
- Manasota, FL ADC, St. Petersburg SCF, and Lakeland, FL SCF: Tampa
- McComb, MS and Columbus, MS SCFs: Jackson, MS
- Kalamazoo, Traverse City, and Gaylord, MI SCFs: Grand Rapids, MI
- St. Paul, MN ADC: Minneapolis
- Carol Stream, IL ADC and Palatine, IL SCF: Chicago
- Kankakee, IL SCF: Champaign, IL
- LaSalle, IL SCF: Bloomington, IL
- Galesburg, IL SCF: Peoria, IL
- New Orleans ADC, Baton Rouge ADC, and Mandeville, LA SCF: Port Allen, LA
- Greenville, TX SCF: North Texas (Coppell)