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OIG recommends USPS make adjustments to Postal Vehicle Service driver workload and staffing
Posted On: Oct 26, 2013

The Office Of Inspector General issued the following report “Nationwide Analysis of Tier 1 Network Distribution Centers – Postal Vehicle Service Operations.” The following are highlights of the report.

U.S. Postal Service network transportation using Postal Service vehicles and employees is called Postal Vehicle Service (PVS). PVS operations at Network Distribution Centers (NDCs) include yard operations where drivers use specific trucks to move trailers and equipment in or around a facility yard (spotting). Headquarters provides nationwide oversight of PVS operations and area vice presidents are responsible for the local implementation of efficient PVS operations, including ensuring required annual vehicle utilization reviews are performed and enforcing established yard move productivity standards.

Our objective was to identify issues requiring nationwide attention based on the results of our prior work, which identified PVS staffing and safety inefficiencies at four Tier 1 NDCs. Tier 1 NDCs process destinating bulk mail and originating turn-around bulk mail for their service area. They also send and receive mail from Tier 2 NDCs, which serve as consolidation and transfer points. There are 11 Tier 1 NDCs nationwide.

Postal Service Headquarters needs to enforce nationwide compliance and oversight of PVS trailer move standards to improve efficiency at Tier 1 NDCs. In our previous audits, we found PVS drivers averaged 27 moves a day, significantly below the 40 moves per driver per day standard. This occurred because local managers at four Tier 1 NDCs were not conducting annual PVS schedule and vehicle utilization reviews. In this audit, we found PVS drivers averaged 28 moves at six of seven Tier 1 facilities. Strengthening nationwide compliance and oversight would ensure that managers efficiently match workhours with workload. We estimate this would save the Postal Service about $1.5 million in PVS transportation costs annually. We also found in our previous audits that drivers were not consistently wearing safety belts when conducting PVS operations.

We recommended the vice president, Network Operations, require the six Tier 1 NDCs identified in this report to conduct an assessment of driver workload and staffing and make appropriate adjustments to workhours based on compliance with yard move productivity standards. In addition, the Postal Service should ensure these Tier 1 NDCs annually assess PVS driver workload and staffing requirements. Finally, we recommended the Postal Service ensure that NDC managers enforce using seat belts and monitor compliance.

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