Area Mail Processing


The U.S. Postal Service® is continually improving its efficiency by making better use of space, staffing, equipment, and transportation in processing the nation's mail.

The Postal Service processing network was designed over many years to meet a robust and growing mail market. However, since 2007 the Postal Service has seen a dramatic drop in mail volume. Concurrently, there has been a significant increase in package volume. Mail and packages require different machinery, processes and space allocations in terms of scope and physical location. As such, some facilities are incorrectly located and aligned to meet the market demand of today and the future, while some are in the correct location but need additional space to handle the volume growth.

More about mail processing operations

What is Area Mail Processing?

Area mail processing (AMP) is the consolidation of all originating and/or destinating distribution operations from one or more Post Offices™/facilities into other automated processing facilities for the purpose of improving operational efficiency and/or service.

Originating operations include canceling and sorting locally generated mail and destinating operations include sorting and preparing mail received from more distant areas for local delivery. The intent is to make more efficient use of Postal Service assets such as equipment, facilities, staffing, and transportation.

AMP Guidelines

The Postal Service has developed a formal process for the review and implementation of Area Mail Processing proposals. This process is defined in Handbook PO-408, Area Mail Processing (AMP) Guidelines PDF | HTML.

Benefits of Consolidation

The benefits of AMP are as follows:

  • AMP centralizes mail processing operations to better use resources, including space, staffing, processing equipment, and transportation.
  • AMP takes advantage of state-of-the art technologies available at the gaining facility so originating and/or destinating mail can be processed more efficiently.
  • AMP supports network rationalization and reduces redundancies.
  • AMP should have minimal impact to customer services. Business mail entry, retail, and delivery services are expected to remain unchanged in most cases. Indicia requirements for postal meters and permit imprints for local mailers remain the same. Local postmarks will continue to be available at Post Offices. ZIP Codes will not change as a result of AMP.

Study removal

The AMP process is complete once the final Post Implementation Review (PIR) has been evaluated by Headquarters and feedback is provided to the area. AMP studies will be removed from this site one year after the final PIR is complete.