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USPS to move some operations from Missoula to Spokane

Some operations are being moved from the Post Office on Kent Street to Spokane
Missoula Post Office Kent Street
Posted at 8:41 AM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 10:41:46-04

MISSOULA — The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced plans on Tuesday to move some operations from the Missoula Post Office on Kent Street to Spokane.

The decision comes following what a news release describes as a “thorough business review and solicitation of public feedback on the facility’s future.”

The Kent Street facility will remain open with the USPS stating that it will be “modernized as a Local Processing Center (LPC).”
USPS says outgoing operations will move to the Spokane Processing and Distribution Center, noting that a majority of mail and packages are destined outside of the Missoula area to the rest of the world.

The USPS plans on investing over $12 million “which will result in expanded and streamlined package and mail processing and distribution capabilities for the facility,” the release states.
Some of the $12.2 million will be used to modernize the facility and to pay for deferred maintenance.

According to the USPS, “there will be no career layoffs as part of this initiative. All career bargaining unit reassignments, as well as any reduction in any number of pre-career employees, will be made in accordance with respective collective bargaining agreements.”

 U.S. Senator Jon Tester released the following statement about the USPS decision to move some operations from Missoula to Spokane:

“While this shortsighted decision exemplifies how out of touch Postmaster DeJoy is with the challenges facing rural America, I’ll continue using every tool at my disposal to ensure that the Postal Service is held accountable to the people of Montana. Moving Missoula's outgoing mail processing operations out of state will hurt countless small businesses, veterans, and seniors that rely on timely delivery from USPS to stay afloat – and we’ve seen it proven time and time again with previous consolidations. Montanans of all political stripes have voiced their frustrations with this plan, which is why I’ll keep fighting to ensure that Montanans have a Postal Service they can rely on.”

Read the full USPS news release below:

MISSOULA, Mont. — As part of a $40 billion investment strategy to upgrade and improve the Postal processing, transportation, and delivery networks, the United States Postal Service announced its plan to modernize mail operations at its Missoula Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Missoula, Montana.

The announcement comes following a thorough business review and solicitation of public feedback on the facility’s future. In addition to determining the facility will remain open and modernized as a Local Processing Center (LPC), the business case supports transferring mail processing outgoing operations to the Spokane Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in Spokane, Washington. Currently, a majority of mail and packages are destined outside the Missoula area to the rest of the world.

The investment in the Missoula facility is a part of the Postal Service’s 10-year Delivering for America (DFA) plan to improve organizational and operational processes and actively make the Postal Service an efficient, high-performing, world class logistics and delivery provider.

The Postal Service will invest up to $12.2 million in the Missoula LPC, which will result in expanded and streamlined package and mail processing and distribution capabilities for the facility. These investments include $3.3 million for modernization efforts and deferred maintenance.

For example, these funds will be used for new workplace amenities for Postal Service employees such as new lighting and renovated bathrooms and breakrooms. To help improve delivery services, investments totaling $3.9 million will be made to locate one flex rover sorter quad — autonomous robotic equipment — into the facility.

In addition, consolidating plant operations will allow the Missoula LPC to be co-located with a Sorting and Delivery Center (S&DC). These facilities will allow the Postal Service to provide faster and more reliable mail and package delivery over a greater geographic area. S&DCs will have upgraded sorting equipment, offer same day or next day delivery options, and provide better facilities for Postal Service employees.

S&DCs will be equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support the deployment of the Postal Service's new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and charging stations. In locations where BEVs will be used, the Postal Service will upgrade and develop the infrastructure required for their effective deployment. Based on the average deployment numbers at S&DCs, new vehicle investment in BEVs is around $5 million per site. The S&DC that will be co-located with the Missoula LPC will have 65 delivery routes that are eligible to be serviced by BEVs.

The S&DC will also feature evolving USPS’s self-service tools and technology to give customers added services and new choices in how they ship and receive packages.

The Postal Service also announced there will be no career layoffs as part of this initiative. All career bargaining unit reassignments, as well as any reduction in any number of pre-career employees, will be made in accordance with respective collective bargaining agreements. As part of its strategy, the Postal Service is enhancing package processing and shipping capacity, which may result in increased plant activity and the need for additional support in the future.

Once changes are implemented, Business mail entry, Post Office, station, and branch retail services are not expected to change, and delivery services will be enhanced. After the Missoula facility is converted to an LPC, it is anticipated that it will be able to mail and ship packages, manual letters, and flats. The LPC is also anticipated to offer express services and accept bulk and permit mail.