Impending closure of downtown Houston USPS facility raises worries

Miya Shay Image
Thursday, December 18, 2014
What closure of downtown post offce will mean
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The large facility is set to close after the first of the year

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The downtown US Post Office on Franklin Street has a public store front, but also encompasses a large sorting facility. Even though the impending closure of the entire facility has been planned for some time, now questions are being raised about whether your services will be impacted.

The entire sorting operations will be consolidated with the Postal Service's existing facility on the city's north side. The Postal Service says consolidating sorting facilities will have no additional service impact, but the postal employees union has disagreed on that assertion.

The issue of local delay is separate from a long term nationwide plan by the USPS that's set to go into effect on January 5th, 2015.

According to the USPS, the following changes will occur:

"In January 2015, the Postal Service will change its First-Class Mail service standards, which will affect roughly 14 billion pieces of the total volume (or 9 percent) and up to 16 percent of First-Class Mail. The affected volume represents primarily single-piece First-Class Mail.

Today, total First-Class Mail is delivered in an average of 1.8 days. When the new service standard changes are implemented, First-Class Mail will be delivered in an average of 2.1 days. The following will NOT be affected by the service standards change:

  • Packages
  • Medicine (those sent in any type of package form)
  • Standard Mail (the primary source of advertising mail)

More than 80 percent of consumers say that adding one delivery day to local and national mail would have "no effect" or it would be a "change (they) could easily adapt to," according to a study conducted by HSR Associates in June 2014 (HSR Associates sample size of 1,093, representative of the U.S. households based on demographics)."

However, we should point out the above changes are separate from the closure of the downtown sorting facility.

"Sometimes I get the mail late, sometimes I get it already opened and taped up, issues like that," said Nancy Dozier, a regular customer at the downtown facility. She, like many of the customers we spoke with, were disappointed with the impending closure. However, not everyone was concerned that their service would be impacted.

"I think they're very good at what they do. I think they get it on time, all the time, so I don't think it's going to be a problem," said De Harris. "I am going to miss it because I work across the street here, but it's OK."

The current downtown Houston facility was put up for sale earlier this year. However, we have learned from the USPS that the sale was not completed. This facility is suppose to hit the real estate market again next year.

Below is the full USPS statement: