Wednesday, September 30, 2009

USPS Steps Up Mail-Processing Consolidation

The U.S. Postal Service has announced the possible closing or downsizing of 15 processing and distribution centers in the past two weeks, part of a newly aggressive effort to rationalize its mail-processing network.

While proposed post-office closings get most of the media attention, 32 of the much larger processing and distribution centers are the subject of Area Mail Processing studies (AMPS) that could result in some or all of their work going to other P&DCs. USPS has approved at least partial consolidation of 11 other P&DCs this quarter, as shown by its AMPS Web site. The site links to reports detailing the proposed and recently approved consolidations.

Those reports suggest the proposed consolidations would together yield well over $100 million in annual savings and result in elimination of more than 1,000 positions. Declining mail volume and increased automation have left the Postal Service with far more mail-processing capacity and locations than it needs.

In many cases, the consolidations help mailers by eliminating some of the 400 or so P&DCs to which they must transport mail to receive Sectional Center Facility (SCF) dropship discounts. But in other cases, the consolidations affect only the processing of outgoing mail (such as mail pieces postmarked for delivery to other regions) and leave the handling of dropshipped mail intact.

The consolidations typically move work to larger P&DCs that are 20 to 80 miles away. Temporary employees lose their jobs, while career employees must often make the longer commute to the larger P&DC to remain employed by the Postal Service.

Concerned about their towns losing jobs and their postmark, local officials often join postal unions in opposing AMPS consolidations. But USPS’ Office of Inspector General just released a report defending one of those challenged consolidations, a shift of outgoing mail processing from Canton, Ohio to Akron. Counter to claims from opponents of consolidation, the study found that service improved and that USPS expenses were reduced by more than $2.2 million annually.

Here is USPS's current list of P&DCs being considered for consolidation:
  • Binghamton, NY (partial consolidation approved, according to local press reports).
  • Bloomington, IN
  • Bowling Green, KY
  • Bristol, VA
  • Cape Cod (Wareham), MA
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Dulles, VA
  • Frederick, MD
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Hickory, NC
  • Industry, CA
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Kilmer (Edison), NJ
  • Kinston, NC
  • Lima, OH
  • London, KY
  • Marysville, CA
  • North Reading, MA
  • Mojave, CA
  • Newark, NJ
  • New Castle, PA
  • North Bay (Petaluma), CA
  • Oxnard, CA
  • Palatine, IL
  • Rocky Mount, NC
  • Saginaw, MI
  • Salinas, CA
  • Southeastern, PA
  • Stockton, CA
  • West Jersey (Whippany), NJ
  • Wheeling, WV
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Anonymous said...

The claim that consolidation saves money is a lie. In almost every case the USPS admits that transportation costs will increase after consolidation.

Since employees are reassigned the USPS still pays their salaries so there is no savings there

The USPS can show that the costs in the losing P&DC have gone down, but they will nottell you that costs in the gaining P&DC have gone up.

Savings through consolidation? Simply not true.

Anonymous said...

Wow the USPS is actually admitting to trying to shut down the Kalamazoo Michigan P&DC. Even after talking to our local representative, Fred Upton and assuring him that the plant was not closing. Damn straight they lie. Know how Postal Management is lying? They are moving their mouths.

Anonymous said...

They will consolidate, get rid of employees, reopen, then rehire at step level AA which is almost less then minimum wage! They seem to always say don't worry nothing is going to happen to our facility and then walk out employees with no notice. Be prepared for the worst and have a back up plan.

Anonymous said...

Lima OH is already closed. The mail went to Toledo and other P&DC's. Now the Letter Carriers have to wait hours for the mail to show up before it can be delivered. Postal spokesperson Chu FallingStar has lied about the mail volume to justify closing Lima, which has left the mail in a real mess.