Postal Service will study consolidating local distribution facility

Some operations in the U.S. Postal Service’s processing and distribution center in Wilkes-Barre could be consolidated into a similar facility in Scranton as the system has seen a steepening decline in first-class mail.

The decision will be made after a five-month feasibility study, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Ray Daiutolo.

“We’re always looking for ways to increase our productivity and efficiency,” he said. “Right now, we’re facing one of our greatest challenges.”

Over the last decade, first-class mail volume has declined as the use of electronic communication has blossomed. That, combined with the staggering blows dealt to the economy in 2008, led to a year-over-year nationwide decrease of 9 billion pieces of first-class mail.

“In some places, we have excess equipment, staff and resources that doesn’t meet mail volumes,” Daiutolo said.

The Wilkes-Barre and Scranton hubs were chosen for the study — the only one being conducted in the central Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware area — because of their proximity to one another.

The Wilkes-Barre distribution center on South Main Street collects outgoing mail from, and directs mail to the nearly 80 post offices in zip codes that begin 182, 186 and 187. The center employs 200 workers.

Daitulo said the postal service would likely attempt to reassign any employees affected by service consolidation that could come after the feasibility study.

“It would be too soon to know if any study would create any changes in employment,” he said. “It’s just a study. No decision has been made.”

About 280 employees staff the delivery, customer service and other positions in the Wilkes-Barre region and would not be impacted by any changes to the distribution center, said Postmaster Judith Lech.

The postal service will be soliciting input from the community as part of the study. Comments should be directed to: Marita Hines, Consumer Affairs Manager, USPS Central Pa. District, 1425 Crooked Hill Road, Harrisburg, PA 17107

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2 Responses to “Postal Service will study consolidating local distribution facility”

  1. Ben Waugh said, on January 14th, 2009 at 11:54 am

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