USPS Announces Facility Closure Plans
As follow-up to several previous e-Tips on this topic, the United States Postal Service® (USPS
®) announced its network
rationalization and service standard
, which will start taking effect in July 2012
and continue through 2014. The USPS
previously proposed closing a large number of processing facilities in an effort to cut costs and optimize their processing network
to more closely align with the decreased volumes of mail.
Network facility changes
The USPS plans
to close 140 processing facilities over the next few years. The first phase will begin in the period of July to August 2012
, and will involve 48 facilities. The USPS plans
to halt any facility closures
during the busy mailing season of September through December 2012
. The consolidations will resume in January 2013 for an additional 92 locations. The second phase of the project will take place in January 2014 for an additional 89 facilities, unless circumstances change in the interim.
Service Standard Changes
will be implemented in two phases – the first running from July 1, 2012
, to February 1, 2014, and a second set of changes
to be implemented February 1, 2014, again unless changed circumstances require that the USPS
re-visit the final changes
before then. The final service standard
rules are expected to be published in the Federal Register next week.
What it means for mailers
So, what does all this mean for mailers
? There is no immediate impact for mailers
until facilities start to close. Once facilities start to close, mailers
will need to make sure their mailing software is updated with the most recent postal destination data updates. This includes data such as Labeling Lists, destination drop ship data files (including re-directions), and so forth. This includes both presort and post-presort software applications. Mailers
will also need to pay close attention to the changes
in the service
standards and monitor mail delivery so that any necessary adjustments can be made to mailing schedules. On the dedicated web site, the USPS
provides a fact sheet
, a facilities list
, and a copy of the USPS network realignment presentation
. Stay tuned for further updates as this initiative progresses.
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