Plant Consolidations Delayed

USPS Plant Consolidations Delayed Until 2016

May 27, 2015

The USPS shelved plans to consolidate 82 mail processing plants during 2015 in the second phase of its “network rationalization” that was supposed to save $750 million annually in addition to the $865 million savings from the 2012 phase one closing of 141 plants. This decision followed a major drop-off in mail delivery service performance in early 2015 that was attributed to a massive change in mail processing scheduling implemented nationwide on January 5, as well as extreme winter weather.

USPS leadership has been under pressure both from mailers who have experienced poor service as well as Senators from rural states that have been negatively impacted by consolidations and schedule changes. For example, Senator John Tester of Montana issued the following statement today: “I am pleased to see the Postal Service is deferring processing plant closures. These delays provide us more time to reform the Postal Service and improve delivery standards. Today’s news is a step in the right direction and I hope deferring further processing plant closures remains permanent because maintaining the standard of delivery depends on it.”

The decision to delay consolidations also is an early sign of enlightened leadership by Postmaster General Megan Brennan who is demonstrating that she understands that the long-term value of the core mail service is at least if not more important than near-term cost savings.

(c) 2015 Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers