Sunday, May 10, 2009

Monkeying Around with Postal Pallets

Where have all the pallets gone, U.S. Postal Service officials sometimes wonder.

The Postal Service spends millions of dollars annually replenishing the supply of pallets, tubs, mailbags, and the like because so many get diverted to other uses each year. Pat Donahoe, USPS's COO, explained to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) recently that, sometimes, getting the pallets back is no easy matter.

He displayed the following photo from a major U.S. zoo to prove his point.


Do you suppose there's an Intelligent Mail barcode on these orangutans?

13 comments:

Tom said...

That's how management uses the pallet's at their meeting, if you're a bad manager you have to sit up there and swing on the pallet until the meeting is over, and while you are up there all the other managers are laughing at you.

james said...

Or thay are envious!

james said...

If the Post Office would use the wooden pallets that every one has no one would take them. If the post office would go back to the cardboard inserts no one would take them. Thay would take U.P.S.'s or Fedx's. What a savings $$$$$$$$, Not that hard to figure out. Ain't no manager.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant idea, James! I don't see why "thay" haven't made you a manager yet!

Neil Down and Ben Dover said...

Looks like my supervisor up there (Oops! ducking down from a writeup)!

Anonymous said...

Our plant switched to wood pallets. I was injured while stacking a wood pallet by myself because we are running so many Mailhandlers light from the past. I was given a Letter of Warning for insubordination. Failure to follow orders. I was Told to work safely, and since I got hurt I obviously was not working safely. What a joke. But , I got 2 hours of OT while at the Hospital, and a 204B was with me the whole time.

james said...

Here is a link for you on why "Thay" they the P.O. choses plastic pallets over wood.(Twin-sheet thermoformed postal pallets: they deliver!)Plastic cost 2 times as much as wood.
plastic can stack more in same space. enter with jack from 4 sides.It said the wood pallets weight 50lb but weigh apx. 22.75lb. But if they are stolen and used by others. Can't stack what you don't have. Paid 2 times as much for what you don't have. And with the deficit of the P.O. spending what you don't have?
"Thay" don't make sence.

Anonymous said...

as a carrier i see tubs all over the place. carriers often place hold mail in them. in stead of emptying them out when the customer calls to pick up their mail often they are just handed the tub. carriers with business routes typically deliver mail in the tubs. only management is surprised when they don't get them all back. this equipment is not lost or stolen; the po gives it away.

Anonymous said...

Ironic,
P.O. looks the other way 'until they realize there's too many gone and there's a shortage'?
Then it's up to the carrier/or any employee to recover them!
......WHAT??????????
Sorry my name is not Gopher!
Besides let the 'do for nothing manager's recover them'? Oh, that's right...there too busy goofing off (appearing as to be working)--or making a mess of the later!
Cliff

Anonymous said...

James, some of what you're saying makes "sense", but you're missing a few key variables in this complex equation. Keep in mind that while the USPS has trouble keeping up with a few thousand plastic pallets, we still have a grip on the majority of them. Furthermore, when you consider that the plastic pallets last at least twice as long, the fact that they cost twice as much suddenly becomes less significant. Because the wooden pallets break down in half the time or less, you not only have increased replacement costs, but you also have increased disposal costs. Most trash haulers don't haul away the wood scraps for free, you know. I've said all that to say that you have to look at more than just the purchase price and benefits of each type of pallet. You have to consider the pallets' full lifecycle and all the related costs before a decision can be made as to which pallet offers the best balance of efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

james said...

anonymous;
If go to the link I put up you can see where the U.S.P.S. gave out contracts for over 3 million pallets last year. 2.6 mil to one company 360,000 & 200,000. that is not a few missing. I retired after 27 years. I watched all the wood pallets put in the dumpster day after day. and reported stackes of plastic onesat businesses in my zone to my supervisor. I've seen stacks of inserts at businesses.I've seen priorty boxs given out. Just to be wraped in brown paper bag paper and shipped
media mail. so they didn't have to buy a box.
The P.O. is being thrown,given & wasted away.

Anonymous said...

Recently I was on a bus trip to a city I will not name. While briefly stopped at a traffic light, I looked out the window at an opened door Fedex facility. I saw many rows of flat tubs & letter trays. I only wish I knew the location.I'm sure PO managers are aware of this. But hey! Fedex transports a large volume of Express & Priority mail so nothing is said or done. BTW, if you have any express failures, blame it on Fedex. Is the PO getting a screw job? Perhaps. Time for alternate trasnportation, like the airlines industry. I'm sure they would gladly accept the business & reimbures the PO for failures.

Anonymous said...

The postal service has a recycling program for their wooden pallets now.
They have hire quality control people at the mail transport shops to oversee the project.
USPS now receives a check from the recycler and are using wood to much greater efficiency.
The plastic pallets cost approximatly 3 times what wood does.The plastic users are stacking 2 plastics together to do the same job, now that is a cost of 6 times that of wood.