USPS Network Optimization/Area Mail Processing Studies FAQ

The Postal Service is continually improving efficiencies by making better use of space, staffing,equipment and transportation to process the nation’s mail. Improving efficiencies has become increasingly important, given the significant reduction in the amount of First-Class Mail that enters the postal system. In fact, since 2006, First-Class Mail has declined by 25 percent. During this same time period, deployment of state-of-the-art automated mail-processing equipment has enabled more efficient processing than ever before. In many cases, mailers are increasing sortation and entering mail into the postal system closer to its final delivery point, thereby bypassing many postal processing and transportation operations.

These factors have created considerable excess processing capacity at many postal facilities where mail is canceled and sorted, which is why the Postal Service is actively looking at opportunities to increase efficiency by consolidating mail processing operations.

What is Network Optimization?

For decades the Postal Service expanded its network and infrastructure to accommodate a growing nation and an exponential increase in mail volume. The nationwide expansion resulted in more vehicles, more processing facilities, more processing equipment and more employees. Through network optimization, the Postal Service can adapt its network and infrastructure to the realities it’s facing today — that for the first time in its history, the Postal Service must significantly reduce capacity across the board.

Will mail processing facilities be studied for closure like Post Offices?

Yes. Similar to Post Office studies, there is a proven, well-established plan called Area Mail
Processing, or AMP, in place to study mail processing facilities for consolidation or closure.
What is an Area Mail Processing study?

An Area Mail Processing (AMP) study is the consolidation of mail processing operations to improve operational efficiency and/or service. An AMP study may involve the consolidation of originating operations (canceling and sorting locally generated mail at a facility close to where the mail originates), destination operations (sorting and preparing mail received from more distant areas for local delivery) or both. The intent is to more efficiently use Postal Service equipment, facilities, staff work hours and transportation.

Additional information can be found at

Where is the list of processing facilities that are being studied?

The list of facilities can be found at

Have processing facilities ever been removed from the list and kept operational?

Yes. Since 2006, 17 processing facility studies have been halted or disapproved for infeasibility, which includes logistical challenges, capacity issues and little or no savings to be realized.

What criteria are being used to study the facilities?

Criteria include:

Expected savings
Transportation and logistic networks
Capacity within processing plant
Amount of required capacity (mail volumes)
Using the least amount of equipment
Maximizing capacity

How many of the processing facilities on the list are expected to close?

We do not have an exact figure at this point since the feasibility studies will take some time; however,it is conceivable that with the amount of excess capacity in the system, a significant percentage could be consolidated.

How soon could that happen?

The studies are expected to take between three and four months to complete. It is conceivable that the consolidations could begin in the February−March 2012 time frame.

9 thoughts on “USPS Network Optimization/Area Mail Processing Studies FAQ

  1. To Jim,

    You can always tell the ones in the crowd that are jealous of others. Maybe if you had a job like the Postal Service, complete with benefits, and paid holidays instead of working some menial job, you could feel the pain that people are consuming on a daily basis. Go join the rest of the tea party bums! And by the way, learn how to do a complete paragraph, you idiot!!!!

  2. OK John, how bout just get rid of PM’s, MPOO’s, DM’s altogether. That would be a pretty expensive clerk doing the work. Makes no difference if they are there or not, they just stand around watching. I think they are truly fascinated by work. It’s moving the mail for Christs sake! It comes in, it goes out….very simple. All the reports and numbers were created by management to make work for themselves. The good ol boy system is alive and well at the USPS!!
    And why has no one addressed all the traveling they do. We’ve never seen our PM. He’s detailed to the District Office and an EAS employee from District is our OIC. Both are supplied government vehicles as is a supervisor in our office. It must be ridiculous what we pay for all the non delivery vehicles being used by EAS employees traveling around the districts on the teams they send around to count pencils. I’m just totally disgusted with the company I have spent most of my life working for. They are a disgrace!! Don’t even get me started on the whole customer service thing….they talk about it a lot but they have no idea what it is.

  3. What I don’t understand is the PO is claiming how they have no mail and no money but yet are CONTRACTING NATIONWIDE to (THS) Terminal Handling Service..This contract has been ongoing since 2005-2006 with truck loads of mail being loaded and processed in non-postal buildings..SO please someone have the balls to answer this…

  4. Sorry you guys Could not save enough money after 30 or 35 years of service what a dam shame and you want a incentive package how embarrassing give me a break!

  5. I agree Kathy, the way to get people to retire, especially those with over 30 years is to offer an incentive package. And I hope Don has some positive insight, just hope it is quick and not 2 years down the road. But since we know what makes this company tick, I bet you would agree that reducing service standards for 1st and periodicals is not the answer. Better to close non performing offices that are within 10-15 miles from another office and consolidate than close plants. If they gave a good VER, then the employees of an office considered for closing could probably transfer to the larger facility without losing many hours plus extra expense for gas. But the biggest thing that needs to be done is to take away the restrictions for EAS 20 postmasters and above to be able to do craft work. I know of several 20 and above postmasters that do nothing and if they are short staffed, let the mail sit until the afternoon to be boxed. This is poor service. Make them work like 18 and below postmasters. Another thing that should be looked at it the number of MPOO’s that is in the field, along with supervisors and managers, lot of dead weight here. Most postal employees do not need to be “micro managed”. I am not saying get rid of all of the MPOO’s, managers and supervisors, but reduce staffing. Most of these employees do their work through the internet or telephone, or teleconferences. They can handle more of a work load, especially if they have good management and employees beneath them.

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