Mail processing centers at Springfield and Cape Girardeau escaped a closure list Thursday of facilities targeted for elimination by February 2013.
The U.S. Postal Service announced it would begin consolidating 48 mail processing centers beginning in July, the first phase of a cost-cutting plan that is intended to save the agency nearly $1.2 billion a year as it tries to adjust to declining mail volume.
The agency said it would consolidate an additional 92 processing centers in February 2013, and 89 more in early 2014. The list released doesn’t include either Missouri facility among those slated to close by February 2013. The loss of the Greene County facility would have meant the end to next day delivery for the region.
In total, the Postal Service said it would close about 250 processing centers, and it expects to save about $2.1 billion a year after the plan is fully implemented in 2014. About 5,000 workers would be immediately affected by the consolidations, the agency said, though it was unclear if they would be reassigned or given incentives to retire. About 13,000 employees would be affected once the first phase is fully implemented by February 2013.
The service’s latest plan to reduce costs by closing mail-processing centers and reducing its staff comes as the agency continues to endure financial losses. In the first two quarters of the 2012 fiscal year alone, the agency lost more than $6 billion.
A decline in first-class mail volume and the development of automated equipment have produced a mail-processing network that is larger than needed, and revenue has not kept up with the cost of maintaining this system, the agency said.
“We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail-processing network,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. “To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload.”