USPS Proceeding with Mail Processing Consolidations
WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced plans to move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases. The first phase of activities will result in up to 140 consolidations through February of 2013. Barring Congressional activity, a second and final phase of 89 consolidations is currently scheduled to begin in February of 2014.
“We revised our network consolidation timeline to provide a longer planning schedule for our customers, employees and other stakeholders, and to enable a more methodical and measured implementation,” said Patrick Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO of the Postal Service.
“We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail processing network. To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload,” he added. “Our current plan meets our cost reduction goals, ensures seamless and excellent service performance throughout the implementation period and provides adequate time for our customers to adapt to our network changes.”
The USPS will begin consolidating operations this summer—which mostly involve transferring mail-processing operations from smaller to larger facilities. Due to the volume of high-priority mail predicted for the election and holiday mailing seasons, no consolidating activities will be conducted from September through December of 2012. Approximately 5,000 employees will begin receiving notifications next week related to consolidating and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer.
“We will be conducting consolidation activities this summer at only 48 locations,” said Megan Brennan, COO of the Postal Service. “As a result, nearly all consolidating activities in 2012 will occur in August and then will resume again the early part of next year.”
These consolidating activities will reduce the size of the Postal Service workforce by approximately 13,000 employees and, when fully implemented, will generate cost reductions of approximately $1.2 billion annually.
“The Postal Service will be communicating with our customers and employees about these changes in great detail,” Brennan added. “We will work closely with our customers to ensure there are no surprises as we move forward.”
When fully implemented in late 2014, the Postal Service expects its network consolidations to generate approximately $2.1 billion in annual cost reductions, and lead to total workforce reduction of up to 28,000 employees.
The list of 140 mail processing locations to be consolidated by February of 2013 is available here.
In other news, the USPS is offering the 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion to encourage commercial mailers to use mobile marketing tools—such as QR codes—on their mail.
During July and August, the Postal Service is offering an upfront 2 percent postage discount on Standard Mail and First-Class Mail letters, flats and cards (presort and automation) that include a two-dimensional barcode or print/mobile technology that can be read or scanned by a mobile device. When scanned, the technology must activate a link directly to either a mobile-optimized Web page that allows the mail recipient to purchase a product or service or to a mobile-optimized and customized Web page uniquely tailored to the mail recipient and accessible by a personalized URL.
“Mobile technologies continue to be one of the fastest-growing marketing sectors,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, domestic products. “During the holidays, mobile purchases were up from 5.5 percent of e-commerce sales in 2010 to 11 percent in 2011.
"The integration of direct mail with mobile technologies will not only improve the long-term value of direct mail but also increase returns for merchants,“ added Reblin.
Commercial mailers may register for the 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion now through Aug. 30, 2012. For more information, visit usps.com/mobile-barcode.