For this year’s peak mailing season, which began last month and runs through January, the U.S. Postal Service decided to hire fewer temporary employees and lease less temporary space to handle the increased volume than it did last year. Seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?
Not when you consider that this year, according to the Postal Service, it has more experienced employees, higher employee availability, increased package processing capacity, and a more stable workforce overall. What a difference a year after the height of the pandemic makes. Also, USPS management said it isn’t expecting an increase in volume compared to last year.
In our recent assessment of the Postal Service’s readiness for the volume of packages it is expecting, we noted it had undertaken these specific initiatives:
- Converting 10,000 pre-career employees to career service and backfilling them
- Hiring over 28,000 temporary employees
- Deploying and installing 50 package sorting machines
- Leasing 17 temporary mail processing facilities and 71 delivery annexes
We did find the agency may not be able to lease as much temporary facility space as intended, but contingency plans are in place if needed. As a result, we concluded the Postal Service has a reasonable plan for peak season, and we didn’t issue any recommendations.