Drew Aliperto, USPS Pacific Area Vice-President in a letter to North County Times (California) sets the record straight on postal automated technology
The recent North County Times editorial “Return to sender: Expensive post office technology pointless without labor savings” (Feb. 3) was a mixed bag: the analysis of the impressive capabilities of the U.S. Postal Service’s Flats Sequencing System was spot on, but the rest of the observations were either off the mark or flat wrong. Allow me to set the record straight.
The cost figure cited for the FSS machines to be installed at the Margaret L. Sellers Processing and Distribution Center in Carmel Mountain Ranch actually represents an estimate of the total investment for the national FSS program —- including lengthy research and development for this “modern marvel,” as the editorial rightly put it.
The claim that the substantial cost savings from the FSS machines “will not be passed on to taxpayers any time soon” perpetuates the myth that USPS operations are funded by taxpayers. They aren’t. Customers who purchase postage, products and services fund USPS operations, and they will reap the benefits of FSS.
Despite the editorial’s claim to the contrary, the FSS does in fact result in a reallocation of resources. The FSS allows USPS to significantly reduce the number of delivery routes by virtually eliminating the manual sorting done by carriers in the morning and expanding the number of deliveries they can handle on the street.FSS also reduces the amount of equipment and back office work space required, which can lead to consolidation of facilities and right-sizing of our network. Labor costs are reduced in affected offices, as letter carriers retire and aren’t replaced.