Postal Service to consider moving Rockford mail processing operations to Carol Stream or Palatine
Online Staff Report
Rockford’s mail processing operations could move to Carol Stream or Palatine, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced Feb. 23.
The announcement came as the USPS also declared the following mail processing operations would be moved:
• Bloomington Processing and Distribution Facility (P&DF) to the Peoria P&DF and the Champaign P&DF;
• Carbondale Customer Service Mail Processing Center (CSMPC) to the Evansville IN P&DF;
• Centralia CSMPC to the Evansville IN P&DF;
• Effingham CSMPC to the Champaign IL P&DF;
• Quincy P&DF to the Columbia P&DF; and
• Springfield Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) to the St. Louis MO Network Distribution Center and the St. Louis MO P&DC.
According to a USPS release: “Once the transfer is completed, the mail processing operation in these facilities will cease. There will be no change to the retail operations or the Business Mail Entry Unit operations at the closing locations at this time.”
Additionally, the USPS announced the following changes to other mail operations:
• Remaining mail operations at the Fox Valley P&DC will be moved to the South Suburban P&DC (Bedford Park, Ill.); and
• Originating mail processing operations at Cardiss Collins (Chicago) P&DC will be moved to the Carol Stream P&DC and South Suburban (Bedford Park, Ill.) P&DC.
With regard to the Rockford mail processing center, 5225 Harrison Ave., the USPS release said: “The Rockford Area Mail Processing Study will be expanded to examine the possible consolidation of incoming and outgoing mail operations into the Carol Stream P&DC or the Palatine P&DC.”
A September 2011 USPS study supported moving the operations currently being undertaken at the Rockford facility to a Madison, Wis., facility. The move would cost the Rockford area nearly 200 jobs and cause delays of two to three days in mail delivery to homes and businesses in the eight northern Illinois counties served by the Rockford facility — Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Ogle and Lee.
The Postal Service announced in December 2011 it would delay any final decisions regarding facility closures until May 15, 2012. The delay was designed to allow Congress time to enact comprehensive postal legislation. Meantime, USPS continued to review facility consolidations, including public notifications, public input meetings and consideration of public comments.
Hundreds attended a public meeting Jan. 5 at Rockford’s Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center to share their thoughts about the USPS’s recommended closure of the Rockford facility.
A 2006 consolidation study also originally recommended the closure of the Rockford facility, but efforts by area elected officials helped keep the facility in operation.
The Rockford mail processing center is consistently rated among the most efficient centers in the nation, and Rockford workers provide overnight delivery service to their customers in ZIP codes starting with 610 and 611.
USPS has experienced a 25 percent decline in First-Class Mail volume since 2006, and receives no tax dollars for its operations, relying instead on the sale of postage, and postal products and services.
USPS Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan said: “The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure. Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”
Specific dates have not been set for the transition. Until a specific date has been announced, residential and business mailers will continue to be served through the current facilities.
Implementation of this consolidation is contingent upon the outcome of pending rulemaking for a proposal to revise existing service standards. This announcement is provided in advance so appropriate planning and notification can be made in accordance with existing employee agreements.
A list of mail processing studies and their status is available at usps.com/ourfuturenetwork. Specific information about individual studies, including public meeting summaries and summary briefs, is posted on the website, usps.com/areamailprocessing, as it becomes available.
Posted Feb. 23, 2012
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