USPS Suspends DFA Consolidation Plans until January 2025

USPS Suspends DFA Consolidation Plans until January 2025 - EcommerceBytes>

Reuters reported today that USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy agreed to pause the consolidation of Postal Service’s processing network after mounting pressure from lawmakers. There have been a few areas around the country where consolidation efforts have led to massive delivery delays, including areas in Texas (Houston), Georgia (Atlanta), and Virginia (Richmond).

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USPS quietly moved our local distribution center to 100 miles north in September 2023. Delays, routing issues and lost packages followed for about a month. Then six months after the move had been made, USPS announced a hearing on the prospect of doing the move from local to 100 miles north. The move had already happened and been functioning for 6 months and now USPS wanted to have a hearing on the impact that such a move would make. Like they were going to listen? Like any feedback would make a difference?

After 9 months, most of the routing issues seemed to have been fixed. Yet, local zone 2, 3 and 4 (basically 500 miles or less away) deliveries take 4 to 6 days while packages going to zone 6 and 7 (over 1200 miles away) have been making it in 2 to 3 days.

After the USPS hearing on the “proposed” move, USPS announced the approval of the move that had already happened (at that point) 7 months prior.

So our take would be that this announcement of suspending DFA consolidation plans is a smoke screen to defect any current push back. We would expect the moves to continue quietly behide the scenes much like the way our local distribution was moved 100 miles away back in September 2023.

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2_NailMeetHammerGif102421(VTR)

You can fool some of the people…

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And why were there those issues?

Options

Poorly planning strategy.
Equipment failures
or
Human resistance to the change.

My prejudice is toward human resistance.

Smokescreens, disinformation and other deception work best against human resistance.

I suspect the longer distances are seeing greater volume which makes it possible to reach the destination faster.

I recently had a shipment which was had its delivery time reestimated twice. It was about 500 miles away. It had a novel but not inefficent routing, which was probably because there was not enough mail volume for the normal more efficient routing to the destination.

Things have not reached the Canada Post level where the truck does not move unless it is full. But Amazon has made some Canada Post like decisions with shipments shipped and then unshipped because the truck from the FC was too empty.

With many online sellers crying about poor sales, this has influence on carrier performance. Logistics software has provision for sophisticated modeling and adaptive routing. This seems like a time everyone is trying out the advanced features.

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https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-postal-service-will-delay-processing-network-consolidation-plans-2024-05-13/

Why send FCM when it won’t arrive for a week, even locally? :roll_eyes:

And the related headlines, y’all…too many to even screenshot, and all decrying the service problems that the DeJoy plan has produced and celebrating the pause.

@Lost_My_Marbles while I do suspect that plenty of the “plans” are already done (dirty) deals like you mentioned, it does look like this pause has gotten in front of quite a few of them, nationwide.

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#1 reason right there … non of the rural local post masters knew that the switch had even happened.

It took until after the first of the year (4 months) for any of it to balance out. If you notice, we didn’t mention zone 5 above. That was because zone 5 deliveries varied by the direction they were going. Zone 6 and 7 tend to go by plane and are (now but not in the beginning) being processed through the first night. Zone 2,3 and 4 were processed out the following morning (sometimes) and were going by truck whereas they use to go by plane into Dallas / Fort Worth for processing. Pretty sure the greater volume in this area is to the Dallas / Fort Worth area and not to Oregon / Washington or New York or Hawaii.

Imagine that all the area mail was still going to the local distribution center where it was normally processed out before. Now all that same mail still came in but was simply transferred to another bigger truck and sent 100 miles north to then be sorted and sent out. Imagine that that mail going north after sorted was then returned to the local distribution center to be sent out to the local post offices for delivery. This process added 2 days to the local mail whereas before it would have been delivered the next day. Mail going to Dallas / Fort Worth took 3 days just to get to the distribution center there (whereas before it was there the next day). Then add another 2 to 3 days for the Dallas / Fort Worth area to get it to their local post office for delivery.

Most reports after the fact leaned towards very poor planning and communication.

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Indeed it might add two days but the service metrics were altered over a year ago to reflect that.

For many of the changes USPS has made, a bigger truck is not required, the utilization of the existing trucks were too low.

The Northern Maine distribution center is being closed and there is great wringing of hands. All of the mail will be sorted at the Southern Maine center. The population and mail volume in Northern Maine is small and continuing to keep their center open is just another reason for a postal rate increase.

Southern Maine had its own aberrations in routing for years. Media mail was delivered next day, but FC Parcel took 3 days, as did Priority.

It always is a problem when you are affected by the changes, but Ground Advantage can take up to 7 days to deliver, and if the volumes are inadequate it will.

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If it is taking 7 days, then USPS is not meeting the metrics that were set up in the creation of Ground Advantage. In addition, USPS can not change the service level or pricing without going through the approval process.

This depends on the area and the population growth within that area and the total size of the area being served. Comparing Maine to Texas is like comparing a grape to a grapefruit. Different issues for different areas. When you consolidate 20 small regional small trucks into one truck going to another distribution center, that one truck will be a 40+ foot 18 wheeler … not a 28 foot bobtail.

The population around the our local distribution center is growing and is larger than the population around the distribution center 100 miles north where the mail locally is now going.

Imagine sending a letter to 27 miles away (that use to be served by a local distribution center and delivered the next day) that now goes to that local distribution center to be sent 100 miles north to another distribution center to be sent back to the local distribution center to be delivered in 3 days rather than the original next day.

Talk about reasons for rate increases. The cost of the gas to ship a letter 27 miles, then 100 miles, then back the same 100 miles and finally 5 miles for delivery when it could have been done for 27 miles and 5 miles seems like a huge cost difference to us.

We worked for USPS and know how it was verses how it is now. We know that Oregon, Maine and Texas all functioned similar yet differently. The Los Angeles area has it’s own issues (lived there and experienced it also).

We respect your input and experience but still feel some push back is warranted on some of the thoughts.

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In more rural areas, the USPS is the sole option for mailing medications. Longer delivery times and lost items mean that people may run out of their medications, something that can be very bad, depending upon the drug.

This nonsense is going to kill someone, and it will take years to clean up from this deliberate attempt to sabotage the postal service.

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7 days is 5 Business Days. Meets the metric.

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The cost of fueling a full truck is not necessarily significantly more than fueling a half full truck. One can easily save the incremental cost of fuel by having one less facility to heat or cool.

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Yet both facilities are still operating with no intention of closing either. So to shuttle mail 100 mile away and then 100 miles back is a waste of fuel … half a tank or full tank.

Therefore, this type of savings :arrow_down: is not acheived.

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No FCM or GA should take “5 business days” or 7 calendar days to get to local mail recipients (same zip or neighboring zip). That is not more efficient–no matter how they try to spin it.

USPS should certainly be able to adapt to contemporary demand and trends, but gutting services in the name of “efficiency” is not the correct solution. And the data say it didn’t even save money, which is what USPS-haterz claim is the goal of changes.

I’m grateful to all the folks who recognized the issue and requested the pause, and I’m happy for USPS customers who won’t see diminished services at this time.

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Especially when Insurance companies will not let you request refills until the last refill has only a couple days supply remaining.

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