USPS Must Make "Dramatic Changes," Postmaster General Says
The agency is entering the third year of its decade-long overhaul.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been in deep financial trouble for some now. So when Louis DeJoy took over as postmaster general in 2020, he promised that he would get the agency back on track. In March 2021, he unveiled his Delivering for America initiative—a 10-year plan meant to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence for the Postal Service. The USPS has enacted several changes over the last two years as part of this major overhaul, from price hikes to slower delivery standards. But with so much time still left in this transformation, DeJoy is now giving insight into what we can expect going forward. Read on to find out why the postmaster general says the USPS needs to make "dramatic changes."
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The Postal Service is two years into its 10-year initiative.
Despite starting in 2021, the Postal Service is still only in the beginning stages of its overall transformation. Last month, the agency released its Second-Year Progress Report on the DFA initiative. According to the report, the USPS has already made many advancements in the first two years of its plan. This includes improved service performance, increased daily package processing capacity, and six new sorting and delivery centers.
"As we enter the third year of our Delivering for America plan, there is a new energy and vibrancy at the U.S. Postal Service," DeJoy said in an April 27 press release statement. "As I travel the nation meeting with the great men and women of the Postal Service, it is clear the investments we are making are paying off—and it is showing through our improved delivery for the American people and our business customers. The progress we've made in the last two years demonstrates that our plan is realistic and achievable. We're just getting started."
DeJoy said the agency had been unable to make necessary adjustments for awhile.
The advancements made in the first two years of the DFA have already been so vital for the Postal Service, according to DeJoy. During a keynote address at the 2023 National Postal Forum in Charlotte on May 22, the postmaster general explained that the USPS had been unable to make necessary adjustments for its agency for awhile.
"We have served under the terms, rules and conditions, established by Congress, our regulator, and the Postal Service itself. However, over the past 15 years, these terms, rules and conditions have grown increasingly in conflict with our ability to perform our mission. This creates a dynamic that must be recognized and reckoned with," he said.
As DeJoy explained, this created a "postal environment" that has not set the agency up for success. "During a period of significant change in our nation, the Postal Service encountered damaging legislation, regulation, rules and political activism that defied logic and inflicted damage," he said. "These misguided or self-interested efforts intimidated and confused Postal management and restricted the organization's ability to make the required changes necessary for long term survival."
The USPS must now make "dramatic changes" as a result.
To offset the "period of contagion" that the USPS dealt with for nearly 15 years, the agency intends to ramp up its efforts in the third year of its DFA initiative. According to DeJoy, this will require "dramatic changes" for every part of its postal environment. "These dramatic changes must be done at a pace, and with a tenacity that is rarely seen, and rarely necessary, in government or private industry," he said during his address.
With its 10-year transformation, DeJoy said he is reinventing the Postal Service at every level from the top to bottom. "The Delivering for America Plan is not a plan for the unachievable," he said. "It is a plan for dramatic change in how we perform our service, that if executed in time and with care, will lead to long term success for the organization."
DeJoy said the agency is going to start focusing in on one specific initiative.
One of the "dramatic changes" needed to get the Postal Service back on track is the modernization of its network, according to DeJoy. "The biggest initiative, and one that will address a condition that has driven high cost and restricted performance, is the redesign of our national processing network and the operating practices we deploy to use it," he said during his address.
As part of this modernized network, the USPS is looking to establish 60 Regional Processing and Distribution Centers (RPDCs). These is will be able to "handle all volume transported into and out of each specific region," DeJoy explained. "Once completed, this new network will be able to accept mail and packages at specified cutoff times and reach millions of delivery points the next day, taking the Postal Service from the leader in the last mile, to the leader in the last 150 miles," he said.
- Source: https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/assets/usps-dfa-two-year-report.pdf
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0427-usps-improving-service-reliability-in-first-two-years-of-dfa.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0524-organizational-strategy-pmg-louis-dejoys-keynote-address-2023-npf.htm