Friday, September 16, 2011

USPS Consolidation Plan Means Moving or Closing Some FSS Machines

The network optimization plan announced yesterday by the Postal Service would apparently require the relocation or shutdown of some of the football-field sized Flats Sequencing System machines.

The vast majority of the 47 processing centers that operate the huge machines would be spared the ax. In fact, more than half of the FSS facilities would take on the sortation of mail from other buildings that would be closed. The consolidation plan would apparently result in a higher percentage of flat mail being sorted by FSS than occurs today.

But five FSS centers with a total of nine machines are on the list being considered for closure. Mail processing now done in Dallas; Van Nuys, California; and Los Angeles (Peck Annex) would be moved to nearby facilities that do not currently have FSS machines. (The original version of this article included Orlando, but the facility there that is on the study list is not the one with FSS machines.)

Work now done in Stamford, Connecticut and Fox Valley, Illinois would be consolidated into nearby centers that are already operating FSS machines. Also, a study of whether to consolidate the work now done at three Massachusetts locations into one includes two facilities that each have three FSS machines -- Middlesex-Essex and Northwest Boston.

The network optimization plan would close more than half of the 487 facilities that now process mail. But facilities with FSS machines tend to be large operations in major metropolitan areas, making them more likely to gain work from consolidation than to be closed.

FSS was supposed to revolutionize the handling of such flat mail as catalogs and magazines, which have traditionally involved much manual handling. The last of the 100 Phase I machines was turned on this past summer. It seems unlikely that any of the machines would be idled, but moving them would be no small feat.

The machines have enabled the Postal Service to eliminate thousands of carrier routes, but with the declining volume of flat mail it's not clear whether the $1.4 billion investment was worthwhile for USPS. For mailers, FSS means mail has to arrive at a sorting facility earlier in the day to receive next-day delivery. (See Special Mail Processing of 'Hot' Publications To End Friday.)

Also on the chopping block is the processing and distribution center in Lancaster, PA, which was supposed to be the test site this summer for a smaller footprint version of the FSS, nicknamed “FSS Lite”. It’s not clear whether that test has gone forward. In fact, with so many small and medium-sized processing centers being targeted for closure, it’s not even clear whether FSS Lite or FSS Phase II will ever be needed.

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22 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are not any FSS machines in the South Florida Plant. The South Florida FSS Machines are located at the Opa-Locka PDC

D. Eadward Tree said...

Thanks for pointing that out, Anonymous, right you are. I confused the South Florida L&DC in Opa-Locka, which has 5 FSS machines and is not on the list of possible closures, with the South Florida P&DC in Pembroke Pines, which has no FSS and is on the study list. Article has been corrected.

Anonymous said...

There are no FSS machines on the Orlando P&DC. The Orlando MP Annex has 2 FSS machines and that facility is not on the list. Get your facts straight! !

Anonymous said...

"The machines have enabled the Postal Service to eliminate thousands of carrier routes..."


And enabled the Post Office to force carriers not on the OT list to work in excess of ten hour days due to short staffing and overreaching of route adjustments. Now many routes are insanely overburdened and there are no relief carriers to pick up the excess deliveries at the end of each and every day.

A boondoggle for sure!!

D. Eadward Tree said...

Sorry about the Orlando error; it has been fixed. I got the L&DC confused with the P&DC.

Anonymous said...

The carriers in this company need to wake up to reality. Every carrier thinks they are overburdened because the company has expanded your 4 hour route to a six hour route. Now you can't sit at the bar or around your pool at home while getting paid by the company to do nothing. The simple fact is, if the fate of this company was left to it's craft employee we'd already be out of business. My suggestion to each and everyone of you that think you have it so bad, is to hang up your satchel or for you Plant folks take your gloves off and find another line of work where you'll be compensated at the rate you are for what you everyday. I'd like to know how you're treated n the real world. The insane complaining and general bit$%^ing from the employees in this company is disgusting. As a collective group you should be ashamed of your performance and daily behaviors. The lion share of employees just want to do their job and be left alone but we have to be grouped in with the 10% of you that give everyone a bad name. You wonder why management has an attitude, try and put up with the crap that comes from your brothers and sisters everyday when you simply ask them to do their job. How would you like to have a daily argument with a carrier just to do hid damn job in 8 hours, or continually fight with a the MH's who feel entitled to sit and do their "bid job" for 8 hours a day even though the workload is 4 hours. I know your response, I signed up for the job and Management is nothing but lazy do nothing folks that don't earn their salary from this company. Folks you all need to get your heads out of the sand and see what is going in this company. The enemy is not your Supervisor or Postmaster, it is you and every one of your brothers and sisters that think you are entitled to something from this company, and this goes for lazy do nothing Managers in this company as well.

Anonymous said...

I agree that too many of postal carriers rural and city think that they are owed something. they should be glad that they have a good paying job to go to everyday.Management is not the villian, it's the two out of every ten carriers that ruin it for everybody else. If you do not like your job, Mcdonald's and Burger King are always hiring. Grow the hell up and act like a grown up. A lot of people out there would love to have what you have.

Anonymous said...

He says as he is cruising the internet when he should be supervising/managing.....

Anonymous said...

the testing of the "fss lite" at the lancaster p &dc has continued on schedule. however, my personnal opinion is that machine will have no bearing on wether the lancaster
p&dc center closes. they move machines everyday. while moving this will certainly be a big job and expensive, the post office is very good at pissing money away. cost will be no barrier, but then they will cry they are broke.

uncommonsense said...

The current bid to move the FSS machines is $5 million and 40 weeks. These machines sort mail for hundreds of thousands of addresses. The cost of paying the carriers to sort is between $250,000 and $500,000 per day per machine. The decision to eliminate these plants is political rather than economic.

Anonymous said...

Hey management if u don't like that a carrier won't skip their lunch and breaks on overburdened routes to get back early for u well then u can quit too. What do u guys do all day?

Anonymous said...

how about a 10% pay cut across the board for mangt: from the top to the smallest postmaster!!!
PROBLEM SOLVED PMG:DONAHOE!!!!!!

MR.OBAMA ARE YOU THERE??

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's the craft workers that are killing the PO, huh? You are right. After all it's the management that actually moves the mail and we just sit by our pools getting paid. This must be why 26%of the routes were eliminated in my station, yet we went from four managers to five. In real world non-postal math, that is a 25% increase in management for a 26% reduction in people "needing" to be managed. (55438,37,31)

And by the way, these "managers" still can't get anything done.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said.

You need to learn sentence structure and articulation, what a bunch of unintelligent crap.

Anonymous said...

Nice rebuttal. Can't argue facts? Then change the subject and try to personally attack the other side. If you can't understand the sentence structure, then you clearly ARE in postal management. I am sure your HS GED is superior to my college degree. Keep up the great work!!

Anonymous said...

There's a FSS in Maryland and its just sitting in our building and management says that the employees of northrop gruman will keep FSS till June of 2012 they have had it since June 2011...They say it is beening used as a test FSS.....

Anonymous said...

uh yeah! didnt we see this coming when these machines were first implemented. we brought up the fact that this was a waste of money. but the usps turns a blind eye to what the union proposes. now you have to close some plants with these fss machines. wow i feel really (sympathetic). what bonehead decisions that come from up top. instead of throwing money away can you just buy me a car and a new house. im sure the usps wouldnt miss it.

Anonymous said...

Lancaster fss is running. A complete failure. Takes longer to deliver than it saves.

Anonymous said...

The whole problem with the USPS is that management did act with the decline of volume as the decline was occurring. As volume slowly declined the routes were not adjusted to the decline. Carriers did not step up to management and admit that they would have under time to carry. They were all content that if I don't get asked for under time, good for me I just got a raise today. The decline in volume has been occurring for years. It's way past time to correct it now. See you in the unemployment line, With million other people. I'm sure our resume will greatly impress the employers.

Anonymous said...

A few more considerations are worth mentioning; these machines have cost the PO billions, and most of the time they are broken down. There are not many people who know how to fix them either. The PO insisted in buying them even though they were warned not to buy so many of them. Now this has come back to bite them in the @$$, though they will never admit it. Carrier sorting was much less time consuming and much more accurate.

icecoldtony said...

In any large organization there is always a percentage of people who will try and to the minimum. From my experience most and by most I mean 95% or more will work hard and do a good job. Also from my experience most managers simply try and get the numbers expected of them from their superiors. If it's impossible then harassment, intimidation and overburdening is used. If you want to see how the typical manager does his job, google the youtube video of the postal customer told to not bring her business to the Post Office.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crybabies the PS has on here! Yes, work 4 hours or less per day and then cry that you may have to actually work 8 or what you are paid for?

UPS and FedEx will be glad to take over this disfunctional company! But, then make it run profissionally!(sic)