The Postal Service operates more than 31,000 retail facilities across the country. This is a huge network, larger than Subway, McDonald’s, or Starbucks. With so many facilities, it’s only natural that serious problems will occasionally interfere with operations.
What happens when a retail unit is severely damaged by a natural disaster, major fire, or building collapse? What if it can’t operate because there aren’t enough qualified personnel or its lease is unexpectedly terminated?
In these cases, the Postal Service may temporarily suspend service. These temporary suspensions are intended to be just that – temporary. The Postal Service is supposed to determine whether to reopen the post office at its original location, find a new location, or start the process of permanently closing the facility.
Over the years, Postal Service stakeholders grew concerned that a large backlog of suspended post offices had accumulated without any permanent resolution. Starting in fiscal year (FY) 2020, the Postal Regulatory Commission required the Postal Service to provide detailed plans to resolve the suspensions. While the Postal Service has made some progress reducing the list, more suspensions occur every year. As of the end of FY 2022, 381 post offices remained suspended.