USPS to close Eau Claire distribution center, three other Wisconsin facilities


USPS letter to customers:


June 30, 2014

Dear Valued Customer,

The United States Postal Service is planning to resume the rationalization of our network of mail processing facilities which began in 2012. To provide adequate time for planning and preparation, the Postal Service is providing this six-month advance notice of consolidations, for up to 82 facilities, which will begin early January 2015 and be completed by the fall mailing season.

The Postal Service will provide detailed information about its network rationalization planning in the coming weeks. As with prior network rationalization efforts, the Postal Service will work closely with customers to mitigate potential issues associated with transportation and logistical requirements.

In 2012 and 2013, the Postal Service consolidated 141 mail processing facilities. This rationalization was highly successful, resulted in negligible service impact, generating annualized cost savings of $865 million and required no employee layoffs. The Postal Service expects the completion of this phase of network rationalization will generate an additional $750 million in annual savings.

Why are we taking this step now?

Over the past three years, the Postal Service recorded financial losses of $26 billion. The Postal Service receives no tax-payer funds to pay for operating costs and derives all of its revenues from the sale of our products and services, and continues to face significant financial challenges associated with the decline of First-Class Mail volume and revenue, wage and benefit inflation, increasing operating costs, as well as legislative mandates and significant debt pressures. Moreover, the uncertainty regarding legislative reform and review of postal rates in the courts continues to delay needed capital investments to acquire package sorting equipment and replace an aging mail delivery fleet.

We believe strongly that this phase of network rationalization will establish the low-cost, technology-centric delivery platform necessary to serve the mailing and shipping industry for decades to come. We look forward to discussing our specific plans for our network in the coming weeks.

MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) -- The U.S. Postal Service plans to close its distribution center in Eau Claire next year, along with three other Wisconsin distribution centers.

The Eau Claire facility is on Hogarth Street. It employed 110 people in 2011. Its operations will move to a sorting center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Centers in La Crosse, Madison, and Rothschild are set to close as well. The Rothschild center handles almost all of central Wisconsin's mail. It employed 163 workers in 2012. The postal service says no jobs will be lost. The workers will all be reassigned.

In 2011, the postal service announced it was considering the closures of five centers along with more than 200 others across the country. At the time, it said it was trying to get out from under $8,500,000,000 in debt. It was also trying to keep the agency viable in a struggling economy and at a time when fewer people had been mailing letters and packages.
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (US POSTAL SERVICE NEWS RELEASE) -- Today, the U.S. Postal Service advised customers of its intent to resume network rationalization activities, by consolidating up to 82 facilities, beginning January 2015. These activities will be completed by the fall mailing season. This is a continuation of network rationalization activity approved by the Postal Service Board of Governors in 2011.

In the last three years, the Postal Service recorded financial losses of $26 billion. As an organization that receives no tax-payer funds to pay for operating costs and derives all of its revenues from the sale of our products and services, the Postal Service continues to face significant financial challenges associated with the decline of First-Class Mail volume and revenue, wage and benefit inflation, increasing operating costs, as well as legislative mandates and significant debt pressures.
Moreover, the uncertainty regarding legislative reform and review of postal rates in the courts continues to delay needed capital investments in network operations and undermine the future financial viability of the Postal Service.

In 2012 and 2013, the Postal Service consolidated 141 mail processing facilities. This rationalization of our network was highly successful, resulted in negligible service impact, required no employee layoffs, and generates annual cost savings of approximately $865 million. The Postal Service expects the completion of network rationalization will generate an additional $750 million in annual savings.


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