After working through historic challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Postal Service is undergoing a significant transformation that will modernize our delivery network and evolve to what our customers need and value, and thereby thrive into the future. During the 2022 Peak Holiday Season, the Postal Service accepted 11.7 billion mailpieces and packages with an average delivery time of just 2.5 days. Furthermore, during the 2022 Midterm Elections, the Postal Service delivered 54.4 million ballots to and from voters with 98.96 percent of ballots delivered from voters to election officials in just three days. We achieved this remarkable success due to the hard work of our Postal workforce and the progress we made in implementing the initiatives identified in our Delivering for America 10-Year Strategic Plan, launched in April 2021.
In April 2022, the President signed into law the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, critically important legislation that, when paired with the full implementation of the Delivering for America Plan, will help financially and operationally sustain our mission to provide reliable and affordable service to every address in America six days, and sometimes seven days, a week.
We welcome the important reforms required by the legislation and have already begun to implement the law’s new requirements, including developing an interactive public dashboard to improve transparency about our service performance. As a part of our work to implement the Delivering for America Plan, and provide service excellence to the American people, including capitalizing on the reach of our vast network when relevant new growth opportunities are identified, we’re also working on the following key initiatives:
- Network Modernization: A cornerstone of the Delivering for America Plan is a multi-year initiative to transform the aging and overly complex postal network into a modern, world-class logistics network that better serves our employees with improved work environments, and better serves our customers with more reliable and improved service performance and enhanced product offerings.
- Larger, more efficient delivery unit designs.
- Improved service performance and reliability.
- Ample space, docks, conveyors, and material handling equipment to operate more efficiently.
- Improved employee work environments and morale.
- Reduced transportation costs.
- Logically sequenced workflow connecting facilities and mail to customers.
- Reduced carbon footprint through electric vehicles and fewer trips.
One of the many initiatives is the creation of Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DCs). These facilities will deploy investments to centralize delivery operations across a given area, allowing us to optimize equipment operations, reduce excess truck transportation, improve efficiencies and product reach, and provide an updated working environment for our employees. The S&DC optimization concept was unveiled in the fall of 2022, and as we begin to pilot several operational refinements, we expect to see improvements as we implement over the next 5 years.
While these investments are a major undertaking, these changes will be behind-the-scenes and the typical postal customer will be completely unaware they are happening at the delivery point. For our employees, we will be consolidating the sites where postal carriers begin and end their routes to these more centralized locations, which will also enable the cost-effective deployment of electric delivery vehicles.
Network Modernization Improvements Include:
- A Modern Postal Fleet: Through the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) Program, we are working to replace our outdated and unsafe 30-year-old delivery fleet with purpose-built vehicles that will maximize efficiency, deliver advanced vehicle and safety technology, and increase cargo capacity.
The Postal Service anticipates increasing the quantity of purpose-built NGDVs to a minimum of 60,000, of which at least 45,000 will be battery electric by 2028. In addition to NGDVs, the Postal Service expects to purchase an additional 21,000 battery electric delivery vehicles through 2028, representing a mix of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles.
While the majority of funding for electric vehicles will continue to be from Postal funds, in 2022 Congress appropriated $3 billion dollars which has helped to jumpstart electrification by covering initial charging infrastructure costs and a portion of electric vehicle purchase cost over the next 5 years. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds for electrification of the fleet are expected to be entirely expended by 2028.
- New and Enhanced Product Offerings: The Postal Service is modernizing our product and service offerings to take advantage of the growth in the package market and consumer trends.
- USPS Connect: USPS Connect is a new set of four affordable delivery solutions to help American businesses meet growing consumer demand for fast delivery. The solutions capitalize on ongoing network improvements, new processing equipment, and increased operational precision to enhance our business customer offerings and improve service across the country. We are rolling out USPS Connect in phases, nationwide. To learn more, visit https://www.uspsconnect.com/.
- USPS Ground Advantage: USPS Ground Advantage streamlines and simplifies package shipping options for customers and enhances the Postal Service’s ground product offering with the anticipated summer 2023 launch. USPS Ground Advantage will feature two-to five-day service standards for packages up to 70 pounds.