USPS OIG: Efficiency Review of Cincinnati, OH, Network Distribution Center – Operations & Transportation

Audit Report – NO-AR-14-011 – 09/12/2014

Click image for full report

Click image for full report


The U.S. Postal Service has 21 network distribution centers (NDC) linked by a dedicated transportation network. NDCs are responsible for sorting and transporting bulk mail — Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services.

Our objective was to evaluate the efficiency of the Cincinnati, OH, NDC’s mail processing and transportation operations. This report is one in a series and also addresses related operations and transportation at the Des Moines, IA, and Pittsburgh, PA, NDCs and feeder processing facilities.

What the OIG Found

Opportunities exist to improve the efficiency of some operations at the Cincinnati NDC by better managing workhours and processing more mailpieces per hour. The Cincinnati NDC had an average piece per hour productivity of 112 for its distribution operations, while comparable NDCs had an average piece per hour productivity of 186. In addition, the Cincinnati NDC used a higher percentage of workhours for other operations than comparable NDCs. Consequently, the Cincinnati NDC used 51,352 more workhours than necessary.

We also found some mail being unnecessarily transported from the Cincinnati NDC and unused space in some mail transport containers. In addition, some trailers transporting mail between the Cincinnati and Des Moines NDCs were not filled to capacity.

These conditions occurred because officials did not use best practices to benchmark efficiency against other NDCs; did not always follow NDC guidelines for properly sorting, labeling, and consolidating mail; and did not fully analyze existing transportation as required. If the Postal Service eliminated unnecessary workhours, it could save an average of about $2 million in labor costs annually. In addition, it could save about $473,000 annually in transportation costs by complying with NDC guidelines and eliminating a daily round trip.

Finally, we observed that mail transport equipment was not always properly restrained for transport to and from the NDCs as required.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended the vice president, Eastern Area, improve the efficiency of the Cincinnati NDC’s manual operations and reduce workhours in other operations to achieve the productivity of comparable NDCs. We also recommended the vice presidents, Eastern and Western areas, reinforce compliance with NDC guidelines, remove an unnecessary highway contract round trip, and reinforce existing safety procedures for restraining mail transport equipment.

via Document Library | Office of Inspector General.

7 thoughts on “USPS OIG: Efficiency Review of Cincinnati, OH, Network Distribution Center – Operations & Transportation

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Cincinnati Ohio Local 7038
    Office held, if any
    Early Retired Parcel Key clerk (which is now defunct)
    I was hired in 1986 and every year thereafter the volume of mail we processed were decreasing. They had been trying to Privatize the Postal Service for years! I always thought it was an inside job to destroy the Postal Service and put it in private hands, I saw a documentary on UPS and I could not believe what I saw. With the Postal Service being such a large company why was it so far behind with technology and automation. It seems to me they had no real intentions to compete or keep up with technology or automation, They put in place managers and some supervisors who were not really qualified for the job. Now, I hear they never have enough people to get the jobs done because of all the crazy different shift starting times. One way to close a facility is to destroy it from within and show that it is not being productive and is using to many unnecessary workhours!

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Cincinnati Local 7038
    Office held, if any
    I have been working at this facility for the past 24 years and started from the bottom up (Casual, TE, PTF and currently been a 20 year full time employee) I have been on tour 3 for 3 years and this by far has been the worse ran facility in the past 24 years. The problem is not the workers nor is it the supervisors because we all have more than enough experience and pride in serving our customers processing the mail out here. The BIG PROBLEM is our current Plant Manager, Mr Trottress who subjects us to intimidation, Micro managing and using harassing tactics and has persuaded his few selected managers to follows his lead of instructions at our facility especially on the Tour 3. Priority mail which is a big part of keeping our facility open and the morale at this facility from a scale of one to 10 is 2. An assessment team needs to come out to our facility to asses the employees and you would find that once you get rid of the current Plant Manager out of our facility, than the Cincinnati Network Distribution Center problems will be solved..

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU Cincinnati Area Local
    Office held, if any
    Clerk Union Steward
    I agree with every single person before me. I’ve been with this particular facility for 28 years. This is the worse I’ve ever seen it. I think the reason for these problems is management. The morale is so messed up right now and I believe it’s going to just keep getting worse. Nobody wants to work under intimidation. But what is not being talked about is the position that our facility was in 1st place and then management changed. We then went so far down. Management left and we zoomed back up. Management came back and now look at where we are. It’s sad

  4. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Tri-County Ohio Area Local
    I am always amazed how the one style of management taught by Colleges and Universities, that is the worst style to use, is the one that the management at the Cincinnati NDC embraces and beleives in. And that is MICRO-MANAGEMENT. This style has been proven to be the worst ever to be used. All it does is cause overall dissension by all parties involved. But it does give upper Management the Big head that they are in charge.

  5. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    NPMHU Cincinnati Local 304
    Office held, if any
    30 Year Member
    This report reflects how badly managed the Cincinnati NDC is. There seems to be no urgency in getting the priority mail to the customer so I’m not surprised by this report.

  6. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Mail Handler / Cincinnati Local 304
    Office held, if any
    Past Recording Secretary
    Why is it that no one is concerned about the amount of mail being damaged at the Cincinnati NDC? Thousands of customers are not getting the service they paid us to deliver, and all they get is a lame “I’m Sorry your package was damaged” note. Where is the customer service in that? The package is damaged, the item is removed from the package and discarded or sent to Atlanta without trying to put it back together and the address label is cut off the package and the “I’m Sorry” note is sent to the customer. And once again, “WHAT KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THIS?”
    I’ve brought this to the attention of a plant manager and he told me that damaged mail is less than 1% of our total mail volume and that was not a great concern to him. I want to know if this is how Postal headquarters view damaged mail?

  7. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    NPMHU - Cincinnati
    Office held, if any
    Branch President
    Hmmmm, I work at the NDC, and was wondering if all the unnecessary overtime the A/Mdo’ s are getting have something to do with things??? 3-5 A/mdo’ s PLUS Plant Manager there on all tours, everyday, all day just standing around seeing who they can instill fear in, and using intimidation tactics????

    Something in the milk isn’t clean…….

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