Eighteen mail sorting facilities across the country are scheduled to be consolidated by November 2021 in hopes of boosting efficiency. Postmaster General DeJoy believes closing the facilities is financially necessary for the USPS®’s 10-Year Plan in which the organization hopes to fiscally break even in 10 years. However, there are speculations that these closures will only raise prices more quickly and slow mail delivery without helping the Postal Service’s financial situation.
The 18 mail processing centers that are being consolidated are located throughout the United States and include plants in Erie, Pennsylvania; Wausau, Wisconsin; Huntsville, Alabama; Gainesville, Florida; Newburgh, New York; Paducah, Kentucky; and Seattle, Washington.
This kind of restructuring is nothing new to the USPS. In 2015, the USPS paused facility changes after 141 facilities were closed during the first phase of a consolidation, which began in 2012. The Postal Service said that consolidating the postal sorting facilities is not expected to delay Express Mail® or Priority Mail® and will not result in layoffs. The Postal Service will look to repurpose the 18 facilities facing consolidation “for package processing, given the increase in package volume.”
The Postal Service said it is also working to boost efficiency by purchasing 138 package processing sorters and leasing 45 annex facilities near mail facilities, which will, in theory, alleviate package overflow issues.