USPS Distribution Center Move Means Mail Delays

An audit of the new mail sorting facility has found that they’re slowing our mail down significantly, Megan Davis writes for the Daily Progress. It was two years ago when the USPS announced that they were moving the Charlottesville mail processing facility’s services to Sandston, east of Richmond. There was a lot of concern at the time that the move would negatively impact mail delivery in the area, and that turns out to have been well-founded. The USPS Office of the Inspector General has issued a report (which I can’t find on their website you can read it here) finding a 100% increase in delayed mail passing through the Sandston facility between the last quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011. In the former period, our mail was still being processed locally; in the latter, it had moved to Sandston. In fact, the facility has the worst record in the country, with 12% of all their mail delayed. Those delays were rarely reported; a single day audit found 350,000 delayed letters, none of which were recorded.

16 Responses to “USPS Distribution Center Move Means Mail Delays”


  • Several years ago, I worked the Albemarle Rural Routes as a carrier. This was ‘between jobs’. The work was pretty tough as I often filled-in for regular carriers having to case 300+ addresses I had never seen (casing is putting mail in cubby-holes in the order of delivery address) and find routes often without training on them once they decided I could deal with it, yet against federal guidelines. There are 50 or so rural routes and they worked me mostly 6 days a week, 10-11 hours a day. But the Post Master wanted us all back before dark even though I and a few other ‘casual carriers’ were still looking for mailboxes in the middle of the country-side! Yeah, I delivered the Jaquith address in Forest Lakes more than a few times. This job-stint lasted around 7 months.
    It was tough but I mostly liked the challenge and many of the carriers were good people. But when my rural manager was somehow demoted in favor of another person who just happened to be friends with the Post Master, things got worse real quick. But it’s when this new manager decided to screw me on my pay by not logging all my hours that I quit. Others had told me it was happening to them, but 1 time was good enough for me: you can give me unreasonable work and I’ll do my darndest to get it all done, but basically I draw the line on my pay for work done. Before I quit, I talked to the Post Master, but he was not exactly above-board about anything. Anyway, long story short, the union wasn’t helpful either because I was just a ‘casual’. For those not in the know, it takes often years for a route to open up for a ‘casual’ to get it as a regular route. 10 years and more is not unusual. Finally, around a year later, I got a check in the mail for around 2/3rds or what they owed me on my last paycheck after they finished their ‘investigation’.
    The bottom line is there was something not honest about the higher-ups and the small guys were getting squeezed every which way. This story in the local news doesn’t surprise me one bit.

  • Yeah, I delivered the Jaquith address in Forest Lakes more than a few times.

    There’s a Jaquith in Forest Lakes?! (Maybe you meant a different place? Forest Lakes isn’t exactly a rural route. :)

  • Rural Carriers deliver to anything in Albemarle county, which includes plenty of sub-divisions. Yeah, I got the :) but others may not know…

    I’m certain there was a Waldo in Forest Lakes, on Timber Meadows. Maybe it wasn’t a Jaquith after-all? I had to develop all sorts of memorization techniques, so that must have been one of them… okay, Waldo lives there and a so and so lives next door…

  • This is perhaps the report you are looking for? http://www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/NO-AR-11-008.pdf

  • Is anyone really shocked at the fact that a Government overseen entity is horribly mismanaged? And anytime I go to a post office I always smile at the causal pace of the staff. No sense of urgency. Ultimately, until the USPS deals with it crazy retirement requirements and is able to make changes that do not require Senate sub committees to approve…. they will remain toast.

  • The ‘retail’ people have a whole other set of priorities. Even their union is separate.
    As for the Post Office being a government entity, I think you’re just trying to slap on your ideology to the issue. Private enterprise can be the best or the worst environment. In my experience, the best are getting awfully rare while the worst flourish. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? You bet!

  • I’ve long wondered:

    1) Why anyone’s surprised that mail is slow
    2) Why anyone uses US Mail for anything time-sensitive.

    I can’t remember the last time I got something in the mail that wasn’t either junk mail or an outdated redundancy that I’ve forgotten to cancel (mortgage, cell phone bill, internet, bank statement, etc.)

    Sure, the US Mail is slow, but (not to sound too flippant), so what?

  • Jim – overall, it’s no big deal. But then US Mail should not be used as proof of delivery even if proof of delivery service was not requested and paid for. Many billers play this game successfully…
    And FWIW, ‘delivery confirmation’ does no such. It really means it got scanned sometime before it even left for delivery. A Certified Letter isn’t that much better. Only Registered Mail with Recipient Signature and Proof ID (nomenclature is getting blurry at this point, so don’t hold me to it) is pretty good proof of delivery.

  • I have seen first class take four days to get from Harrisonburg to Charlottesville. That never happened when we had the cville sorting facility.

    I wouldn’t complain because the post office wouldn’t do anything about it- can you imagine which ring of Dante’s Inferno dealing with the Post Office compliants is in?

  • Thanks so much for that link, Ed! I’ve amended the blog entry to include a link to that. I look forward to reading that this evening.

  • My favorite is the part, since the Cville sorting facility closed down, where I get two different issues of a weekly magazine on the same day. Both of which have a date at least two weeks ago.

  • I routinely get two issues of The New Yorker within a day of each other and, every few months, on the same day. (I got the last two issues on the same day last week. I finally got last week’s issue today.)

  • Yep, I now have the 11/28 edition of the New Yorker, but the 11/14 and 11/21 issues are MIA.

  • I had to share…

    We mailed Save the Date cards for our wedding yesterday at a box outside the post office on 29. A friend in Lovingston received his at 2:30 PM today. A friend in Crozet got hers, too.

    When I was a kid, there was a “local mail” slot at my post office, but those aren’t around anymore. There must be some sorting done here, right?

  • I’ve often wondered about that, Jeannine. With turn-around times like that, it’d almost have to be sorted locally, wouldn’t it?

    (Also, congratulations!)

  • Thanks, Waldo!

    Based on the stats from our wedding website and conversations with family, our cards got to Boston and the NYC area yesterday. :)

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