Postal service to move U.P. mail processing to Green Bay

IRON MOUNTAIN — The U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday it will move forward with plans to switch its facility in Kingsford to a local processing center that will send the region’s mail to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for distribution.

In a news release, USPS officials said the decision comes after “a thorough business review and solicitation of public feedback on the facility’s future” that it concluded “supports transferring mail processing outgoing operations to the Green Bay” processing and distribution center.

It noted the majority of mail and packages that come to the Kingsford center are destined for outside the Iron Mountain area.

The change is part of USPS’s $40 billion Delivering for America plan, which officials claim “will upgrade and improve the postal processing, transportation and delivery networks.” The plan relies heavily on creating regional processing and distribution centers and converting a number of other existing PDCs into local processing centers.

The same switch is being made at a number of locations across the country.

USPS officials have pledged to invest up to $6.3 million in the Kingsford center as part of the conversion, including $2.4 million for modernization efforts and deferred maintenance and $3.9 million for a robotic Flex Rover Sorter Quad system in the facility.

According to the news release, the conversion should “result in expanded and streamlined package and mail processing and distribution capabilities for the facility.”

In earlier statements, USPS claimed the switch will save an estimated $1.1 million to $1.5 million annually at the Kingsford facility.

USPS stressed Tuesday the change to a local processing center will “improve mail and package flow through the region” and that no career employees will be laid off. But it did mention reassignments and reductions in precareer employees “will be made in accordance with respective collective bargaining agreements.”

The U.S. Postal Service announced earlier this year it was doing a facility review on the Kingsford plant.

That review included a public meeting held April 1 at Pine Mountain Ski and Golf Resort in Iron Mountain, where a panel of USPS officials were criticized for targeting the only mail processing and distribution center in the Upper Peninsula.

Changes already made in January have eliminated next-day service by USPS, affecting delivery of prescription medicines and water testing that require a one-day turnaround.

The USPS Delivering for America plans generated enough controversy nationwide to prompt a Senate committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing April 16 to address “mounting concerns about the postal service and timely mail delivery.”

Senators on the panel grilled U.S. Postmaster Louis DeJoy about the loss of services under the plan, noting cities such as Richmond, Virginia, and Atlanta have seen slower delivery times

The committee chair, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, called on USPS to delay going forward until it has data available that shows the changes are having the intended effect given the results so far.


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