Postal Regulator Tells Congress of Failures in USPS Consolidation Planning


In a rush to redesign its nationwide network of facilities, the Postal Service acted on several misguided and poorly rationalized assumptions, a Postal Regulatory Commission official told Congress in late July.

In testimony before a House of Representatives subcommittee, John D. Wailer also cited a lack of consistency in how proposed consolidations are reviewed; a failure to develop criteria for approval or disapproval of proposed consolidations; a failure to seek public input; and “severe tardiness and errors in analysis in post-consolidation reviews.”

Commenting on Wailer’s statement, APWU President William Burrus said, “This testimony confirms our members’ criticism of the USPS plan for network realignment. It echoes and reinforces our fundamental objections.”

Wailer testified, “The Postal Service recognized that its network redesign program could have a significant impact on service.” However, he said, USPS planners failed to properly consider service implications while making the assessments that are the foundation for the Evolutionary Network Design (END) program:

  • The Postal Service failed to provide a reliable estimate of the volume of mail that would experience a downgrade (or upgrade) in the number of days delivery would take;
  • There was no estimate of how often the Postal Service would need to move up collection times; and
  • There was no consideration of whether consolidations would result in mail being delivered later in the day.

Another basic flaw in the END program, Wailer said, “was the determination to consolidate operations, where possible, from smaller plants into larger plants, rather than from less productive plants into more productive plants.”

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