Northeast Ohio Post Offices Face Consolidation

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO)- The Postal Service now projects a loss of more than $6 billion this fiscal year. The losses are the result of dramatic mail volume declines caused primarily by the economic downturn but also reflective of electronic diversion - online bill paying and electronic correspondence.

In Fiscal year 2008, these factors resulted in a mail volume decline of 9.5 billion pieces, or 4.5 percent, the largest in Postal history. Projections for this year are no more encouraging; it now appears volume decline for this year may exceed 20 billion pieces. From a peak of 213 billion pieces in 2006, the Postal Service may handle only 180 billion pieces this year.

To improve efficiencies, the Postal Service has offered early retirements, adjusted delivery routes, adjusted Post Office hours of operation, reduced hours of operation in mail processing facilities, suspended new post office construction, consolidated mail processing operations, removed underused blue collection boxes, cut travel budgets, and reduced administrative staffing by 15%, among many actions taken.

Because the options and choices customers have been given to conduct their postal business has increased exponentially - many of those choices and options do not involve physical post offices - the Postal Service is now reviewing its retail network to determine if operations in some branch offices could be consolidated with other offices. Nationally, more than 3,000 stations and branches are being reviewed.