USPS OIG Report: Manual Letter Processing Operations at Industry P&DC


This report presents the results of our self-initiated audit of manual letter processing operations at the Industry Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in the City of Industry, CA. We conducted this audit to provide U.S. Postal Service management with timely information on operational risks at the Industry P&DC.

The Industry P&DC is in the Santa Ana District of the Pacific Area. During fiscal year (FY) 2019, it manually processed 1 million letters, 4.4 million flats, and 9 million parcels. Mail is processed manually when its dimensions or address quality prevent it from being processed on mail processing equipment. It is much more cost effective for mail to be processed on mail processing equipment rather than manually. In FY 2019, average productivity for letters processed on mail processing equipment was 7,299 mailpieces per hour while the average productivity for manually processed letters was 1,163 mailpieces per hour.

We selected the Industry P&DC for review based on our analysis of manual letter productivity as measured by the Management Operating Data System (MODS). The Postal Service uses MODS data to plan workload, forecast workhours and mail volume, track mail processing activities, evaluate the efficiency of facilities, and estimate staffing requirements. In addition to its operational uses, the Postal Service uses MODS workhour data to calculate totals for many of the cost pools within the Clerks and Mail Handlers Cost Segment. Postal Service management and the Postal Regulatory Commission rely on accurate and precise product cost estimates to set postal prices and to reliably determine whether revenue for products and mail classes cover attributable costs. The Industry P&DC’s FY 2019 manual letter productivity of 104 mailpieces per hour was significantly lower than the national average productivity of 1,163 mailpieces per hour.

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Source: USPS Office of Inspector General

One thought on “USPS OIG Report: Manual Letter Processing Operations at Industry P&DC

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Lehigh Valley Area Local
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    I would have to see their methods and calculations before I believe these numbers. To suggest that manual letter sortation was 104 pieces per hours is ludicrous. 104 pieces per hour equates to one letter every 35 seconds. That is hard to accept as accurate.

    Is it possible clerks were moved to other operations without swiping to the new operation #? That would distort productivity totals?

    I am a manual letters clerk. Even our slowest clerk can do 104 letter per hour without trying. We all know there are no productivity standards, but suggesting people are sorting 104 pieces per hour is insulting.

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