Flat Sequencing System machines are handling about 9% fewer pieces of mail than originally planned but are still proving to be worth the investment, a postal official said this week.
presentation from Rosa Fulton, Executive Director of Flats Sequencing, to the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee this week. The 100 machines in Phase I will only handle one-fourth to one-third of the Postal Service’s flat mail when they are all operational a little more than a year from now, she noted.
Low mail volumes, not mechanical problems, are causing the 12 machines that are up and running to handle about 255,000 pieces per day rather than the 280,500 target in the original plan, Ms. Fulton said.
That target was set a few years ago when the amount of catalogs, magazines and other flat mail was growing slightly. But flats volume declined 26% from fiscal year 2005 to FY 2009 and is still decreasing.
As a result, each FSS machine is handling more delivery points than planned. That means more daily runs for each machine because there’s a limit to the number of delivery points in a single run.
“Increasing the number of runs decreases [the] number of pieces that can be processed daily” because of the changeover times between runs, Ms. Fulton’s presentation said. “Technology solutions to gain back efficiencies are in review.”
The Postal Service’s vision for flats mail includes the goals to “optimize savings potential for Phase 1” and “extend flats sequencing beyond Phase 1,” she said.