A sorter made to order

When the Los Angeles International Service Center was required to move — and to simultaneously consolidate functions that were normally handled at another location — USPS engineers were tasked with finding a way to make it so.

The former center was roughly 25,000 square feet and responsible for accepting incoming international mail from the airfield.

The new site, called the International Receipt Facility, is roughly the same size but had to handle not just the receipt of international mail but induction and sortation, radiation detection and all the international mail obligations that are required by multiple federal agencies.

The solution devised by the Material Handling and Systems Engineering Integration teams was a piece of mail processing equipment that takes multitasking to a whole new level.

Before, the center could only perform receipt and compliance check functions manually using old conveyor systems, tethered scanners and inclines to fill empty equipment.

Processing mail for identification and sorting was completed at another location.

The new machine completed all these tasks in one location, requiring far fewer employees and at nearly five times the productivity rate as the former setup.

Formerly, the facility might process 20 “aircans” — those cargo holders you see on airfields — a day, according to Sergio Luna, a receiving clerk at the facility.

Now, they can process that amount in two hours, he said. Once all the workers are brought up to speed learning the ins and outs of the new machine, Luna predicts a “100 percent” improvement in processing speed.

The new sorter allows for expedited mail receipt, offers the latest in federal international mail compliance and improves productivity and processing of all inbound international mail at the Los Angeles airport, said Prescott Bellaire, technology acquisition program manager.

Ergonomic tweaks based on employee feedback have been integrated into the design, as well.

Seyed Zahraei, a USPS project management specialist, led the effort.

In terms of technology, “it’s Flintstones versus Jetsons,” Bellaire said.

Making history

What has been our reality for the past two years will soon become history.

The USPS Historian’s Office and the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, are looking for artifacts to help tell the story of how the Postal Service continued to deliver during the coronavirus pandemic.

Do you have items in your facility related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

While hand sanitizer, masks and gloves probably immediately come to mind, the historian and the museum are seeking less obvious items. These could include thank-you notes and tokens of appreciation submitted by customers, and other work-related objects unique to the pandemic.

Just as important as the items themselves are the stories behind them — for example, how they were obtained and the effect they had on employees and their colleagues.

A sample of what is offered will be added to the USPS historical collections. Some offers may be directed to the museum for consideration.

If you have an item you’d like to donate related to your on-the-job pandemic experience, email a description or photograph to phistory@usps.gov with “COVID history” in the subject line.

Mobile device security

Employees and contractors who have USPS-issued mobile devices must complete mandatory security training by June 6.

The CyberSafe Mobile Device Security course provides employees and contractors with policy information, best practices and other tools to securely use their postal mobile devices.

This year’s course offers a way to “test out” of individual topics, including the entire course, through a pretest covering security and data protection and application use topics. Based on the results, employees and contractors will either be exempted from taking the course or will have to take one or both training topics.

The training course is available through HERO.

Employees and contractors who do not complete the course by the June 6 deadline will have limited ACE system access until it is completed.

Go to the CyberSafe training page on Blue or email CyberSafeComms@usps.gov for more information.