This week at the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings, the USPS announced that due to the ever-increasing decline in First-Class Mail volumes – and since their processing and distribution network was built around First-Class Mail – they plan to undertake another network re-alignment (I say “another” because they just re-aligned into the NDC structure) and drastically reduce the number of processing facilities from the current 508 to less than 200. The Postal Service wants the re-alignment to begin in the February/March 2012 timeframe – and to be complete by the end of calendar year 2012.
Yes. That’s right. Nothing written above is a typo. The Postal Service wants to eliminate over 300 processing facilities in the course of 9 – 10 months during 2012. Welcome to the biggest “what the …?!?!” moment of MTAC this week. Oh, I would also be remiss if I did not mention that they announced that due to this re-alignment, they see the First-Class overnight service standard disappearing, too.
Now, I do have to say that there are a number of very good reasons for this, including achieving tremendous cost reductions and improved efficiencies in the use of their automation machines (there are a lot of DPS machines that are currently only being used 5 or so hours a day – this number should be up around 20 hours a day).
There is a lot more to come from this, and all the industry publications will be chock-full of this information. But, check back here, too!
There isn’t a better time to start paying attention to what’s going on with the USPS than right now!
– Wallace Vingelis (firstname.lastname@example.org)