Half of U.S. Mail Facilities No Longer Needed, Study Says

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A new study on the United States Postal Service shows the mail network is having a hard time keeping up with slimming down as more people turn to texting and email.

Released by the Government Accountability Office, the April study highlights the amount of excess in the mail system.

For example, the GAO says the Postal Service has 461 processing centers, but 223 of those centers are no longer needed.

It operates 8,000 mail processing machines, but the amount of mail has dwindled so much that they no longer need 3,000 of those machines.

Of the 154,000 postal employees, up to 35,000 could be let go because there is not enough mail for them to handle, the study concluded.

This excess is a result of the decline in areas such as First-Class mail volume and automation improvements in mail sorting.

The USPS has saved $2.4 billion since 2006 after starting their initiative to eliminate excess facilities and operations.  However, in the same year the gap between USPS expenses and revenues has grown.  It was predicted in February that net losses will reach $21 billion by 2016 despite actions to reduce excess cost.

The December 2011 proposal by the USPS to change overnight delivery service and move to a five day delivery schedule is currently being reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission.  The USPS hopes to save $22.5 billion by 2016 if the proposal is approved.

The report stated the USPS had no comment on the findings.

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