The Future Postal Network Flow: End-to-End Model

New Regional Processing & Distribution Centers

At left, the new Regional Processing & Distribution Center (RPDC) in Atlanta, GA. New or repurposed RPDCs enable new workflows that simplify the movement of all classes of mail and packages. RPDCs will act as multi-functional distribution centers for all network originating mail and packages and all destinating packages. This effectively centralizes all metro-area originating processing operations in a single building, with crossdocking and other functionality as required.

Design for 11 new RPDCs is underway in Atlanta, GA; Richmond, VA; N. Houston, TX; Greensboro, NC; Santa Clarita, CA; Portland, OR; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Boise, ID). Four RPDCs will be opened in 2023 (Atlanta, Richmond, Charlotte, and Chicago). In the coming years the USPS expects to open about 60 RPDCs.

RPDCs are only one element of the processing solution in each region. Newly designed Local Processing Centers (LPCs) will connect RPDCs to delivery operations with the primary mission of sorting letters and flats to carrier route or walk sequence, and serving as a transfer center to aggregate product on its way to delivery.

For new LPCs the USPS will leverage existing sites such as former Processing and Distribution Centers (P&DCs). In many of these there will be a Sorting and Delivery Center (S&DC) in the same building.The benefit of collocated buildings is a 100% reduction of transportation from the LPC to the S&DC.

New Sorting & Delivery Centers

At left, the first Sorting and Delivery Center (S&DC) in Athens, GA. In DFA’s second year the USPS started to revitalize the network of nearly 19,000 delivery units. It has targeted key markets where it can aggregate delivery units into fewer, larger, centrally located Sorting and Delivery Centers to provide faster and more reliable delivery over a greater geographic area.
This S&DC network will optimize delivery in the busiest markets and remove impediments that currently slow down operations.

The first S&DC opened in Athens, GA last Fall and is already demonstrating operational benefits. In February 2023 five new S&DCs were opened in Gainesville, FL; Panama City, FL; Woburn, MA; Utica, NY; and Bryan, TX. Over 100 new S&DC locations nationwide are being evaluated.

Delivering For America:  Year Three Priorities

In the year ahead, USPS’s Delivering for America priorities include:

1. Modernizing National Network Region by Region — Continue to implement our new National and Regional Processing and Distribution Network which involves the reconfiguration and equipping of hundreds of facilities in strategic locations across the nation.

2. Expediting Local Service Through New S&DCs — Continue to open new Sorting & Delivery Centers (S&DCs) in local markets. These S&DCs will allow USPS to process and deliver mail and packages with faster service between local retailers and consumers through expanded same-day/ next-day shipping across the region from one location.

3. Electrifying and Deploying New Vehicle Fleet — Expect first electric vehicles to be out on routes in late 2023 and intend to purchase 100% electric Next Generation Delivery Vehicles for fleet beginning in 2026.

4. Elevating The Employee Experience and Career Pathways — Continued enhancement of employee and supervisor experiences, including the redesign of the new hire orientation, added focus on improving employee’s first 90 day experience, equipping supervisors with tools, training, and resources to drive a culture of performance, accountability and engagement, and by creating long-term career pathways.

5. Continued Refinement of Our Organization To Become A World Class Logistics and Delivery Service Provider — Continue to adjust and improve organizational structure and alignment to create high performing collaborative work teams to serve customers and compete for new business.

6. Offering New, Competitive Products and Services For Customers — Continue to streamline products and services, including the national roll-out of USPS Ground Advantage. This new product simplifies package options for customers by incorporating three products – USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select Ground, and First-Class Package Services – into one, USPS Ground Advantage. This new product will provide competitive pricing and offer 2-day to 5-day delivery for businesses and the American people. And, identify opportunities to upgrade Priority Mail service levels to strengthen our product offering.

7. Optimizing Ground Transportation Network — Improve transportation performance, optimizing ground transportation and reducing dependency on historically unreliable and more costly air transportation. The shift from air to ground will leverage technology to optimize truck routes, and better track every mailpiece in the network.

8. Pursuing CSRS Reform — Continue to work with the Executive Branch to secure changes from the Office of Personnel Management to reflect revised apportionment of Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) benefit costs according to modern actuarial principles. This correction will save the USPS $2-3 billion per year and up to $34.6 billion over 10 years.

9. Stabilizing Operations to Improve Service Reliability — Continue to stabilize operations by updating policies and procedures, deploying new technology and package sortation equipment, and reconfiguring our facilities to improve flow, reduce processing delays and operational costs and improve overall performance.

10. Positioning USPS as The Greenest Way to Mail and Ship — Through a variety of initiatives, the USPS is being positioned as a leader in carbon footprint reduction. Processing facilities will be upgraded, with more energy efficient equipment, lighting, and more. Network transportation will move from planes to underutilized, already-in-motion trucks, significantly reducing transportation carbon burn. As mail and packages ride to each address, they will ride on new electric delivery vehicles.

11. Investing in Modern Technology Solutions for Facilities, Customers and Employees — In addition to equipping facilities and carriers with updated technology to expedite the processing and delivery of mail and packages, USPS will continue to modernize customer platforms to provide a full-featured, one-stop-shop solution and continue to expand Informed Delivery, and develop new reporting tools for customers to identify service hotspots more quickly. And establish a best-in-class, technologically talented workforce through focused recruitment and engagement processes that attract and retain high-quality personnel.