This month the Postal Service will begin implementing a massive initiative to change how the mail is delivered. Instead of working out of the back of post offices, letter carriers will be relocated to large, centralized facilities called Sorting & Delivery Centers. These S&DCs will be housed in currently operating processing centers, large post offices, and eventually one of the new multi-functional mega-plants the Postal Service plans to create over the next few years. Spaces are already being prepared in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Charlotte, where the Postal Service has leased a 600,000 square foot facility almost adjacent to a large Amazon warehouse.
The effects on postal employees will be significant, as discussed in this previous post. Tens of thousands of letter carriers will find themselves working at an S&DC that’s much farther from where they live, meaning longer commutes, more driving time, and more transportation expenses. Postmasters and managers will see their positions downgraded because they don’t have carriers to supervise. Thousands of clerks at post offices will become unnecessary since they won’t need to provide support for the carriers. They will be among the 50,000 positions that the Postmaster General says he plans to eliminate.