Thursday, April 18, 2024
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USPS attempt to improve efficiency creates challenges for delivery of rural mail

KILMARNOCK—It has been two years since the United States Postal Service (USPS) launched Delivering for America, what it calls a “10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence” through massive capital investments—$40 billion over 10 years—and recent rate hikes.

In its quest for efficiency of time and money, the USPS is looking to have fewer, fuller trucks on the road, much like the consolidation of routes in the airline industry. So just as there are an increasing number of airport layovers to get to your final destination, your mail may have more stops along its route, and in all likelihood take longer to reach your mailbox.

Previously, local mail could be dropped at individual post offices where it was sorted with other mail prior to delivery, a “disaggregated” and “haphazard” process that “created substantial workarounds and gross inefficiencies,” according to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. Now plans call for newspapers, along with all other mail, to instead go from the Richmond Processing and Distribution Center (PDC) to the Brook Road transfer facility before returning to the local post office for home delivery.

This triangle of a delivery system—the Richmond PDC—the Brook Road transfer facility—the local post office—along with a move toward single drop-offs and pick-ups at a post office each day may simplify the process for the USPS, but it is adding time for those concerned about the timeliness of certain mail like medications, bills, and of course, your local newspaper….

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