USPS Is Making These Changes to Your Deliveries, Starting in the Next 2 Weeks
The postal agency is shaking up its fleet of delivery trucks in more ways than one.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been going through some serious changes. Since 2021, the agency has been working to optimize and modernize its service with adjustments big and small. For customers, this has meant ample price hikes and slower deliveries, among other changes. Now, the USPS is planning to shake up its fleet of trucks in more ways than one, and it could have an impact on your deliveries. Read on to find out what changes the postal agency is now planning.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Making Even More Changes to Your Mail.
The USPS is getting rid of one of its trucking companies.
The Postal Service is cutting ties with one of the trucking companies contracted to deliver mail after a major controversy.
Last June, a truck driver working for Caminantes Trucking plowed into three cars on an interstate in Weld County, Colorado, killing five family members in one of the cars, 9News reported. On the day of the crash, the truck was carrying mail for the USPS and the driver did not have a valid commercial driver's license (CDL), according to the news outlet.
In November, the postal agency said it would review the safety record of Caminantes Trucking after a 9News investigation revealed that the California-based trucking company had a history of letting drivers get behind the wheel without a CDL.
As a result of this review, the Postal Service has confirmed it is in the process of ending its contract with the company entirely, 9News reported. "We have issued a contract termination notice to Caminantes Trucking, our relationship will end within the next two weeks," the USPS said in a statement to the news outlet.
This could worsen delivery problems for customers.
Caminantes Trucking is a 46-truck fleet contracted only as a carrier for U.S. mail, according to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Once the Postal Service terminates its contract with the trucking company, it is unclear what Caminantes will do with its trucks and drivers, 9News reported.
Meanwhile, this could negatively impact mail deliveries for people across the U.S. The USPS has already been dealing with an ongoing truck driver shortage since at least March 2022—which the agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said is going to be "hugely consequential to postal operations."
In fact, a lack of contracted truck drivers for the USPS is currently contributing to problems with undelivered mail and delivery delays in states like Colorado, The Colorado Sun recently reported.
The agency is also planning to upgrade its delivery fleet.
At the same time, the Postal Service is working to update its fleet of trucks for the first time in more than 30 years. In Dec. 2022, the USPS announced that it "intends to deploy over 66,000 electric vehicles by 2028, making one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the nation."
To reach this goal, the agency said it will purchase 60,000 Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) from Wisconsin-based contractor Oshkosh, with 45,000 of these vehicles expected to be battery electric. The additional 21,000 planned electric vehicles will be supplied by a "46,000-vehicle purchase from other automobile makers," according to JD Spura.
"The USPS fleet has more than 230,000 vehicles in every class, including commercial-off-the-shelf vehicles," Albert Ruiz, a senior public relations representative for USPS, previously told Best Life. "Approximately 190,000 deliver mail six—and often seven—days a week in every U.S. community. The NGDV, along with other commercial vehicles, will replace and expand the current delivery fleet, which includes many vehicles that have been in service for over 30 years."
And that could help deliveries in the long run.
The expanded fleet will likely have a positive impact for customers. According to the USPS, the new delivery trucks have a walk-in cargo area with cab access that will make it much easier for employees to carry mail.
"The NGDV will have increased cargo capacity to maximize delivery efficiency and better accommodate future innovations," Ruiz said.
These electric vehicles will also make the entire delivery transportation process more efficient, as they can take more trips, require less maintenance, and are quieter, according to Vox.
"A key focus of our modernization effort is to reduce inefficient transportation and improve distribution operations, resulting in far less air cargo and far fewer truck trips," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement.