USPS puts microscope on Tupelo operations

TUPELO – A United States Postal Service study will look at ways to improve efficiency without sacrificing service, even though it could lead to moving some mail processing operations out of Tupelo.
Beth Barnett, a USPS spokeswoman, said a study began last week to determine the best use of its operations in Tupelo and Memphis.
“This is the behind-the-scenes operations and we’re not talking about anything new,” Barnett said. “We’ve been doing this for years in other areas.”
Declining mail volume has forced the Postal Service to trim and consolidate operations in other cities across the country.
Last week, the USPS said it was conducting a study at the Tupelo Customer Service Mail Processing Center on Thomas Street “for possible consolidation of some operations into the Memphis Processing & Distribution Center.”
Barnett said there’s no deadline for the study to be completed and that postal officials were “looking at the data” to determine what the most sensible plan would be. The study may reveal to leave things the way they are or it could recommend a consolidation of services.
“We’re doing a study to determine if it’s a good idea or not,” Barnett said.
Mail volume fell by 9 billion pieces nationwide last year. It’s dropped by 30 billion this year.
The Postal Service said it has to “realign its processing and delivery network to match its resources” with the huge decline in volume.
For example, Barnett said that some mail trucks are leaving Tupelo without a full load, and that reducing or eliminating such inefficiencies is a goal of the study.
She also said that if a consolidation does occur, it will involve only outbound mail from Tupelo and not mail coming into Tupelo, so deliveries in the area would not be affected.
But any consolidation is not likely soon. If the study determines that a change needs to be made, a public hearing will be held to allow members of the community to ask questions and provide feedback. Those comments then will be considered in a final proposal.
Efforts to reach the postmaster in Tupelo about the study were unsuccessful.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal