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Published on June 11, 2024
Georgia Congressmen Tour Palmetto USPS Facility Amid Mail Delay Concerns, Highlight Promised ImprovementsSource: Google Street View

The United States Postal Service facility in Palmetto, Ga., recently the subject of scrutiny over wide-ranging mail delays, was toured by Georgia Congressmen seeking to address concerns and highlight forthcoming improvements. USPS's woes drew Representatives Mike Collins, Austin Scott, and Andrew Clyde to the facility, with Collins suggesting that customers should see a notable enhancement within the next two months. "When you have elderly people that are getting their checks in every month, or their prescriptions in, and we really didn't have a good answer for them. And so that is where we started putting the pressure on here to make sure we get some sort of answer," Rep. Collins told FOX 5 Atlanta.

A series of problems had afflicted the Palmetto site since its opening in February, including backlogs of mail and prolonged wait times for delivery vehicles. An issue with workforce deficiencies was identified, but Representative Clyde expressed optimism, saying, "They had some labor issues that was part of the cause of the delay, but I think they have overcome that now and are on their way up." The Palmetto location is one among 60 nationwide undergoing changes to heighten efficiency, as Congressmen on site recognized the need to adapt to the shifting landscape of mail, with first-class letters in decline and package numbers on the rise.

In parallel action, Senator Jon Ossoff surveyed the Palmetto USPS facility last week, holding the postal service to account for its service downgrades. Ossoff, vocal about the shortcomings, pushed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for rapid remedies and a detailed report on Atlanta's postal hurdles. "USPS is letting Georgians down," Ossoff stated. "It is my role, it is my obligation, it is my duty to hold them accountable."

USPS data from mid-May recorded just over 60% on-time deliveries for first-class mail against a target of 92.5%. This report precedes the legislators' visit, which had occurred shortly after Ossoff's. Improvement measures, including the recalibration of truck routing and implementation of new tracking metrics, were disclosed by the congressional representatives. "If you’re not using metrics, you don’t know if you’re improving, so I was pleased to know that the management in the facility could show us the metrics," Rep. Clyde shared with 11Alive.

In response to the attention from lawmakers, USPS released a statement acknowledging the improvements and confirming a near 40 percentage point boost in First-Class Mail Performance. Although the postal service is not fully satisfied with where things stand, they are heartened by what appears to be a positive direction in addressing the substantial setbacks encountered in March. Representative Scott articulated his cautious optimism, indicating his expectation for regular performance updates: "I have a lot of faith in them now. My faith in them is going to need to be verified based on the metrics, and I expect we'll get those updates every 10-14 days."