The Postal Service has announced network infrastructure investments to meet the evolving mailing and shipping needs of the American public and business customers ahead of the 2021 holiday season.
The initiatives — part of Delivering for America, the organization’s 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence — will include:
• An accelerated procurement of 138 package sorters that will be operational ahead of the holiday season, with plans to purchase additional processing machines during the next 18 months as package volume grows.
As USPS expands its role in the e-commerce marketplace, the organization will deploy and maintain a diverse range of package sorters and material handling equipment to optimize processing.
• The leasing of an additional 45 annex facilities located near processing centers in key locations to support package surges and overflow.
• The movement of mail processing operations at 18 facilities previously paused in 2015. Those select moves will follow the Postal Service’s existing contractual process and be completed by November.
Due to the decline in mail volume, the organization will relocate or remove unnecessary letter- and flat-sorting equipment as appropriate to make much-needed space for package processing.
Moving, removing and repurposing mail processing equipment and operations — also known as “operational mail moves” — is an ongoing USPS strategy dating back decades that allows for more efficient, timely delivery of mail and packages.
The Delivering for American website has a list of affected facilities.
“The Postal Service’s future depends on its ability to adapt to the evolving demands of our customers,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “These initiatives and investments give our employees the infrastructure and technology they need to serve today’s e-commerce marketplace reliably and efficiently. This optimization will lead to more efficient and reliable performance in our plants, which in turn will enhance our ability to predictably and reliably deliver mail to the more than 161 million addresses we serve each day.”
Employee impacts resulting from these operational changes will be handled in accordance with the Postal Service’s negotiated contract provisions. These impacts will not result in layoffs.
With full implementation, the organization’s 10-year plan reverses a projected $160 billion in losses during the next decade.
The plan will spur cash flow and savings to make $40 billion in capital investments — including $20 billion toward the USPS mail and package processing network, facility upgrades and procurement of new processing equipment.
Mail volume has declined by 23 percent during the past 10 years and is continuing to decline. First-Class Mail has dropped 27 percent and single-piece First-Class Mail — letters bearing postage stamps — has declined 41 percent during the same time.
The Postal Service has a national network of mail processing facilities that routes nearly 430 million pieces of mail and packages to 161.4 million addresses at least six days a week.
In 2020, USPS delivered more than 129.2 billion pieces of mail and packages to customers across the nation.
The Delivering for America website has additional information on the 10-year plan.