From May 21st – May 24th, executives from Postal Realty Trust attended the National Postal Forum held in Charlotte, NC. The NPF is the premier mailing and shipping conference that works directly with the United States Postal Service to provide the industry’s most comprehensive educational and networking platform.
For Postal Lessors, the NPF was an opportunity to understand the evolution of the USPS delivery network under the Delivering for America plan, the Postmaster General’s ten-year roadmap for placing the Postal Service on the road to financial sustainability. Attendees heard from USPS Executives with an update on the rollout of the S&DC initiative, the Postal Service’s plan to consolidate carrier routes from local Post Offices to large, centralized Sorting and Delivery Centers. The Postmaster General reiterated that the S&DC initiative was “tied to the hip” to the successful deployment of the next-generation EV delivery vehicles, explaining that the availability of parking and electrical infrastructure at these large locations supports the new fleet, something that is not feasible at retail Post Office locations. At this time, implementation had been completed on six S&DCs, with a further 18 sites set to be launched in June and September of this year. All-in-all, the Postal Service shared plans for a network of 490 S&DCs consolidating carrier activity from anywhere between 4,000 to 8,000 local delivery units.
The S&DCs were not the only network update discussed at the forum. In addition to Sorting and Delivery Centers, the Postal Service shared plans for approx. 60 new Regional Processing & Distribution Centers (RPDCs) and approx. 160-180 Local Processing Centers (LPCs).
RPDCs are the largest and strategically most important facilities in the new network, with these facilities having the capacity to handle all mail transported into and out of their regions. Each RPDC region includes the RPDC facility itself, supported by two or more Local Processing Centers which will sort letter and flat mail to carrier routes and serve as transfer hubs to aggregate mail on its way to delivery via the S&DCs or local delivery units.
An important observation of the Postal Service’s presentation is their footnote that Retail and PO Box Operations are not impacted by these changes to the delivery network. Similarly, at the May 17th House hearing by the Committee on Oversight & Accountability, the Postmaster General testified that, “Rolling out this network will not result in a reduction of retail services.”
No doubt, these statements will be scrutinized as part of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s public inquiry into the network transformations.
Another much-discussed topic at the NPF of interest to Postal Lessors was the Postal Service’s focus on property conditions and employee amenities at new and existing Postal Facilities. In a future edition of this newsletter, we will focus on the Postal Service’s “GEMBA walks” and what Lessors can expect to see from EMCOR in the coming months.
Are you wondering how the USPS’s Delivering for America route consolidation plan will affect your property? Click here to sign up to get more information.