Proposed USPS sorting & delivery plan could impact mail delivery across the region

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:59 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -The United States Postal Service (USPS) is working to reshape mail deliveries throughout the county. The USPS is moving forward with a plan that would combine and centralize carrier operations in new, larger mail sorting and delivery centers (S&DCs)

The Bryan postal facility located on East William Joel Bryan Parkway is one of three initial sites identified that would convert existing, underused spaces into sorting and delivery centers.

USPS officials say the goal is to increase efficiency in the areas of transportation while improving conditions for employees.

“The goal of this initiative is to make significant improvements to the delivery network to better serve the American public and our business customers more efficiently and effectively. As part of this plan, carrier operations will shift, where feasible, to new S&DCs,” said Evelina Ramirez of USPS Corporate Communications. “These S&DCs will be optimized and configurable based on local market conditions – with many new S&DCs to be co-located in existing plants. These larger centers will have better infrastructure and adequate space, docks, conveyors, and material handling equipment to enable more efficient operations while modernizing and leveraging currently underutilized and vacant postal facilities around the nation.”

According to initial plans released by the USPS, mail sorting will no longer be done in individual facilities like the Bryan. Instead, carriers from College Station, Caldwell, Hearne, Navasota, and North Zulch will have to travel to Bryan to pick up their mail and then go back to their communities to deliver it.

Mid Hudson, Utica, Southeastern, Kalamazoo, Gainesville, Athens, Columbus, Topeka New Castle, and Bryan are the ten sites initially selected. Mid Hudson, NY, Athens, GA, and Bryan, TX were chosen to be the first to make the transition.

Jamie Partridge, retired mail carrier and organizing member of Communities and Postal Workers United, says the plans do the opposite by raising expenses and increasing travel and route times for carriers.

“Letter carriers are working into the night, into the dark and they’re quitting. You know people are retiring early, people get hired on and then they quit, and so this plan would just accelerate that process,” says Partridge. “Having letter carriers forced to travel sometimes an hour to get to work and then travel a significant distance just to get to their routes because of this new consolidation plan is a losing proposition.”

Another concern is the potential impacts on traditional brick-and-mortar facilities in rural communities. Partridge says displaced clerks and carriers are already impacting the Athens, GA facility that recently made the transition.

“The local post office is understaffed and they have lines out the door and people are having trouble getting their mail on time and yeah it has a huge impact,” said Partridge.

The Postal Service has not indicated when the changes will begin in Bryan.

A full statement and copy of the sorting and delivery center plan from the USPS can be found below.