Photos obtained by CNN are beginning to show where some of the 671 mail sorting machines the United States Postal Service has planned to remove have ended up. According to internal documents obtained by CNN, in February 2020, the USPS said it had 4,926 mail sorting machines. That’s the highest number of machines removed since 2016, according to written court testimony. “And the demands come down on them. Alaska is the only state with no machines on the list. Written testimony submitted as part of a lawsuit about Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's policy changes and potential disruption to election mail stated that the Postal Service has removed and/or replaced unnecessary or outdated mail processing equipment from facilities for years, and that it was common practice. How the USPS became a political battleground, These are the sorting machines USPS removed that would handle mail and election ballots, How to make sure your 2020 mail-in vote is counted. “Package volume is up, but mail volume continues to decline.". “We have mechanics who get assigned a few machines and they like to keep them humming.”, Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Opinion: Supreme Court's scientifically illiterate decision will cost lives, VIRUS TODAY: Black Friday shoppers stay home. Data published in USPS reports submitted annually to the Postal Regulatory Commission show the agency typically decommissions dozens, sometimes hundreds, of machines each year. In written testimony and documents submitted Wednesday to a federal court in New York, the postal service's director of processing operation disclosed the high number of removals, which is the most that occurred in one year of President Donald Trump's tenure and roughly double the machines USPS typically removes in a given year. The machines can label and sort tens of thousands of letters, bills and ballots, each hour. Postal Service (USPS) offices amid a slew of operational changes implemented by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, according to … In 2018, for instance, the agency decommissioned roughly 3 percent of its Delivery Bar Code Sorters, or 125 machines. In 2019, it was 5 percent, or 186 machines. The Postal Service removed an average of approximately 388 machines from facilities per year from 2015 through 2019. And honestly, the lower the service quality, the more times the Postal Service has to handle a piece of mail.”. They include: Some postal workers worry that losing some of the machines could spell delays. Postal Service (USPS) offices amid a slew of operational changes implemented by new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, according to … The U.S. Mail sorting equipment is being removed from U.S. However, they also show that this year’s reductions in sorting capacity are larger than they were in prior years. But union officials say the middle of a pandemic is the wrong time to remove equipment. But it’s their right to mismanage. The United States Postal Service removed 711 mail-sorting machines from postal facilities -- the highest level in at least four years -- according to new … Combs said four machines have been removed in his area, and the remaining machines need to be reprogrammed to run more routes, which also increases the time it takes to process and sort the mail. The equipment reductions did, however, create valuable floor space for package processing. Of particular concern was the removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines. Mailing groups have hailed the reductions, saying the Postal Service has long held onto excess capacity that has slowed operations and inflated the cost of service. The Flat Sorting Machines and Flat Sequencing Machines, or FSSs, perform similar tasks on larger sized paper mail, though they have run into trouble. Facer-Canceler Systems, which label incoming mail with bar codes that allow workers to track items through processing. In DeChambeau's declaration, USPS had only 4,824 mail sorting machines in October 2019. Here’s why the Postal Service wanted to remove hundreds of mail sorting machines. Alaska is the only state with machines on the list. California had the greatest number, 76, followed by Florida (59), Texas (58) New York (52) and Ohio (34). The machine cuts often coincide with facility consolidations. Many postal service employees confirmed that the removal of outdated machines was routine, but raised concerns of doing so in an election year where millions of Americans are expected to vote by mail. “The more times the Postal Service has to handle it, the longer it stays in the Postal Service and network, then the more expensive it is. Washington state election officials have also raised concerns about the removal of mail sorting machines. Some mail handlers also say they find the expensive machines unreliable and prefer to sort flats by hand. “I’m always hearing from mechanics and technicians all over the country that they’ve cut down on maintenance windows,” said Randy Zelznick, a retired USPS machine technician who runs the 21st Century Postal Worker blog. Before then, the average was 388 withdrawn per year. According to written court testimony submitted this week, U.S. By Kristen Holmes and Paul P. Murphy, CNN, Updated 8:08 PM ET, Wed September 9, 2020. Previous cuts mean the remaining ones are pressed into service more often, and routinely need maintenance that isn’t always regularly performed. Show full articles without "Continue Reading" button for {0} hours. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. The 671 machines slated for removal were scattered across 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 136 Mail sorting equipment is being removed from U.S. © Morry Gash/AP A mailbox stands in Fox Point, Wis., on Aug. 18, 2020. Here’s why the Postal Service wanted to remove hundreds of mail-sorting machines. Data published in USPS reports submitted annually to the Postal Regulatory Commission … At the state level, the removals correlated closely with population: states with more people, and hence a larger USPS footprint, had more machines taken out. Alaska is the only state with no machines on the list. A 2018 report from the USPS Inspector General found that a “network rationalization plan” that involved facility consolidations and machine removals saved the agency $91 million, a hefty savings, but short of the $1.6 billion projected. Connect with friends faster than ever with the new Facebook app. ... the only state with no machines on the list. Of particular concern was the removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines. “I have to imagine you’re creating a pretty slim margin for error if you’re removing machines, even if mail volumes have decreased.”. The Postal Service, by comparison, processes as much as 500 million items each day. This week, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pulled back on a host of cost-saving measures at the U.S. Bar Code Sorters, among the most common machines, sort labeled letter-size mail into Zip codes and even into delivery sequence for letter carriers. Postal workers in Washington State have reinstalled high-speed mail sorting machines—dismantled after controversial orders from the U.S. “Those machines have done more to create efficiency than any other machine in the past couple decades,” said one letter carrier in Los Angeles, who asked not to be named out of fear of reprisal. “The sad part is that we have a ton of pride of ownership,” he added. The Postal Service been streamlining its sorting equipment since the 2000s, when mail volume began to decline. Of particular concern was the removal of hundreds of mail sorting machines. WGBH, "At Least A Dozen Mail Sorting Machines Have Already Been Removed In Massachusetts, Postal Union Officials Say," Aug. 17, 2020 Read About Our Process The Principles of …