The U.S. Postal Service plans to conduct a study at the Albany Customer Service Mail Processing Center to examine the feasibility of consolidating its operations into the Jacksonville and/or Tallahassee Processing and Distribution Facilities.
This Area Mail Processing study, involves a review of the mail processing and transportation operations to determine capacity needs within the postal network in order to increase efficiency and improve productivity.
The study, which is expected to be completed in early 2012, comes as the Postal Service faces one of the most difficult challenges in its history.
Annual mail volume has declined by more than 43 billion pieces in the past 5 years and is continuing to decline. Total First-Class Mail has dropped 25 percent and single piece First-Class Mail â" letters bearing postage stamps â" has declined 36 percent in the same timeframe.
Even when the economy fully recovers, the Postal Service does not expect mail volume to return to previous peak levels, and is projecting annual deficits for the foreseeable future. Because the decline has created substantial excess mail processing capacity, the Postal Service is initiating studies to look at reducing the size of its mail processing network nationwide.
If the feasibility study reveals an opportunity to consolidate mail processing operations, the Postal Service will hold a public meeting to explain the proposed operational changes and potential impacts on service, and to solicit public feedback which will then be considered before a final decision is made.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Congressman Sanford Bishop has co-signed a bi-partisan letter expressing their concern over potential USPS closures. In a statement Bishop said the following:
"Thousands of working families, entrepreneurs, seniors and veterans in southwest Georgia heavily rely on the services provided by our nation's Postal Service," said Congressman Bishop. "The widespread closure of postal facilities in our rural communities has the potential to adversely impact our region's economic development and possibly impair the ability of Georgia businesses to fully utilize their inter-state commerce capabilities."