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USPS mail processing to remain in Juneau

Posted: July 3, 2011 - 7:53pm

The United States Postal Service ended an efficiency study at the Juneau Service Mail Processing Center, meaning no changes or consolidations will be made to area processing systems.

The USPS had plans to conduct the Area Mail Processing (AMP) study to review processing and transportation operations, efficiencies and capacity needs. The possible outcome of the study would have been transferring some operations to Anchorage.

The Postal Service determined that were not enough significant improvement opportunities to efficiency or service through consolidation, and changing things could have negative impacts as well.

USPS Marketing Manager Pamela Moody said closure couldn’t be done without having an impact on customers, which must be part of the study’s feasibility. She further said that operations here were also a hub for several smaller surrounding offices, making the “no impact” part of the study even more impossible.

“If any piece of the study doesn’t work, then we decide none of it works,” she said. “There were too many variables so we decided to stop it.”

Moody said that the study is something done periodically to look for ways to cut costs in operations without hurting them. They look at ways to eliminate excess capacity.

The USPS states the need for these studies stems from its difficult economic downturn of late. Moody said it’s no secret that the Postal Service is having a very hard time financially.

Upon the decision, USPS Alaska District Manager Dianne Horbochuk sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who issued the following statement:

“In this economy, the lack of bad news can be considered good news — especially when it comes to Alaska’s already-hamstrung postal operations. While I share the Postal Service’s concerns about their multi-billion dollar deficit, it’s vital they make smart cuts that don’t threaten the mail service that Alaskans rely on, more than residents of most states.

“I have met with postmasters, postal workers and everyday Alaskans who rely on the mail in Alaska to get their food, medicine and conduct business. I will continue to work with the postmaster general and my Senate colleagues to ensure the continued viability of the Postal Service in Alaska and across the country.”

The announcement came a month after the USPS decided to move Alaska’s Western Area Distribution Office from Anchorage to Denver.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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