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Automation underperforming for US Postal Service, watchdog says

August 23, 2023
USPSMailSanctity large story

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WASHINGTON — Early results of the U.S. Postal Service’s push to modernize mail and package processing reveal that the agency is falling far short of performance goals, according to its watchdog unit.

An audit by the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that 350 automated guided vehicles (AGVs) purchased and deployed at processing centers between October 2019 and April 2022 were severely underused, which led to a $105 million shortfall in labor savings the equipment was supposed to generate for the agency.

“Specifically, we identified 177 AGVs (or 46 percent) were used, on average, less than once per day during 2022,” the report stated. “This occurred because the Postal Service did not require or adequately monitor the usage of AGVs, resolve issues, or follow up with facilities after deployment to improve use.”

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