The U.S. Postal Service‘s controversial new restructuring plan includes a revamp of the way the agency functions both operationally and geographically — worrying some experts that the nation’s mail service could be split into bureaucratic silos and further slow mail delivery.
The Postal Service has three main operational units: retail and delivery, responsible for post offices and letter carrying; logistics, which transports mail across the country; and mail processing, which sorts the items. Those departments previously were more integrated, sharing reporting structures and strategies.
Under the new plan, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, each of those categories will receive a redrawn map of the agency’s new 50 mailing districts, tracts of Zip codes for which local post offices are responsible. That’s down from 67 districts previously. But not all of the geographic divisions align among the new maps distributed to the operations departments, which has led to worries among postal experts and mailing industry officials of a new level of red tape.
“My reading is that it seems to overcomplicate some of the field relationships in the way that different parts of the network execute exchanges with one another,” said Michael Plunkett, president and chief executive of PostCom, a national postal commerce advocacy group. “This appears like you’re just reshuffling the deck, but you’re still going to get the same cards at the end.”