USPS Delivery Network Improvement Plan Offers Potential to Expand Number of Electric Vehicles in Postal Fleet

The United States Postal Service today announced it will soon publish a Notice of Intent to supplement its environmental impact statement (EIS) related to its Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDV) plan. The decision comes as the Postal Service accounts for expected changes following a recently announced plan to improve the Postal Service’s delivery network. The plan to modernize and aggregate delivery operations will make delivery routes more efficient, which may affect the appropriate mix of vehicles to be procured for the Postal Service’s delivery fleet, including NGDV.

Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy laid out the framework of the USPS delivery network modernization plan at the 2022 National Postal Forum on May 18. As part of the initiative, the Postal Service will aggregate much of its delivery operations into Sort and Delivery Centers, with modern building systems and adequate space, docks, conveyors, and mail, and material handling equipment to operate more efficiently while modernizing and leveraging currently underutilized plants around the nation.

“As I noted when we placed our initial NGDV delivery order, the Postal Service would continue to look for opportunities to further increase the electrification of our fleet in a responsible manner, as we continue to refine our operating strategy and implement the Delivering for America plan,” said DeJoy. “A modernized network of delivery facilities provides us with such an opportunity. This is the right approach —operationally, financially, and environmentally.”

Postal delivery vehicles currently operate from almost 19,000 facility locations around the country. As part of the current network, the Postal Service can have as many as 40 delivery facility locations concentrated within a ten-mile radius. Many of these buildings are in disrepair, have outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and poor employee amenities, and they cannot accommodate our current mix of mail and packages. The number of locations also requires significant sorting operations at our plants, underutilizes numerous truckloads from plants, and diminishes the efficiency and commercial utility of our mail carrier route structure.

“We will place large carrier operations inside our unused mail processing plants, dramatically improving transportation efficiency by eliminating unnecessary trips, reducing mail handlings, increasing reliability, and decreasing time to delivery,” said DeJoy. “These changes will take years to accomplish, but each plant or delivery unit tackled will provide immediate systemwide financial and service benefits. We will have the greatest reach and be the most reliable and affordable delivery provider.”
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