COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Thursday, the United States Postal Service proposed changes that could save it up to $3 billion a year.
Those changes include cutting processing facilities by close to 50%, reviewing its services and adjusting its workforce by 35,000.
A study will be conducted to examine the usefulness of consolidating mail processing in our region and nationwide. The study will involve a review of mail processing at 250 locations, and will review transportation operations in an effort to increase efficiency and productivity.
It is expected to be complete by early 2012 and comes as the USPS faces its most difficult challenge in history.
It is looking into consolidating the following in our region:
Columbus GA CSMPC into Montgomery AL P&DC Anniston AL CSMPC into Birmingham AL P&DC, Dothan AL CSMPC into Montgomery AL P&DC Gulfport MS P&DF into Mobile AL P&DC Hattiesburg MS CSMPC into Mobile AL P&DC Huntsville AL P&DF into Birmingham AL P&DC Tuscaloosa AL CSMPC into Birmingham AL P&DC Mobile AL Annex into Mobile AL P&DC
Last summer, USPS made the decision to move mail processing from Columbus, GA to the distribution center in Macon, GA.
Officials at the main post office on Milgen Road tell us the process of moving a facility happens in two parts. In Columbus, the first part of the process, the sorting has already moved to Macon.
The second part of the process, called destination operations - the sorting and preparing of mail to be delivered- is still happening in Columbus and could possibly move to Montgomery.
However, it is not known at this time if postal workers in Columbus will see a reduction in workforce.
In addition, it will take longer to get some pieces of mail. For example: first glass mail would take 2-3 days (currently it is one or 2) and periodicals would take 2-9 days. Priority mail, packages and standard mail services would stay the same.
USPS says the volume of mail has decreased by 43 billion pieces in the past 5 years, and those figures are continuing to decline.
Letters bearing postage stamps have declined by 36% in the same timeframe.
The USPS says that it does not expect mail volume to return to peak levels, even if the economy fully recovers. It relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.