The United States Postal Service is moving forward with plans to close 229 processing centers — about half of the total — by early 2014. The move is expected to save the Postal Service about $2.1 billion annually. The Dingley Press is carefully monitoring the closings to help catalogers adjust mailing and routing schedules as needed.

“The greatest impact on catalogers,” says Lynda Hurley, logistics manager for The Dingley Press, “is keeping abreast of the new routing systems and making the appropriate changes to meet our customers’ needs.”

“We base delivery dates around expected transportation service, but right now we are seeing some next-day and two-day delivery on the Sectional Center Facilities (SCFs). It seems some areas of the Postal Service have been delivering much faster than their predicated standards,” says Hurley. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means being able to adjust your transportation schedule to account for the differences.

Also, the Service Standards have been recently updated. Modern Service Standards maps and data files containing originating, destination, and destination entry data files have been added to the Web page. The Dingley Press has been tracking delivery trends in multiple regions to make delivery predictions that are as accurate as possible. This helps catalogers carefully time in-home delivery of time-sensitive materials.

What’s Closing and When

The first phase of the Postal Service’s cost-cutting plan to close mail processing centers began in July and August 2012 with the closure of 48 processing centers. An additional 92 centers will close in February 2013 with the final 89 closures occurring in early 2014. No consolidations will occur from September 2012 through December 2012 due to the national election and holiday mailing season. The closures are in response to reduced mail volumes in recent years.