- 25 February 2021
- Transport / Logistics Services
Apologising to the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform for the poor performance of the US Postal Service over the last peak season, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy sketched out a ten year strategic plan for the postal operator designed to return it to a sound financial footing and improve efficiencies in its network.
DeJoy delivered a statement before his hearing by the House Committee. Here it is in full:
“Good Morning Chairwoman Maloney, Ranking Member Comer, and Members of the Committee. I want to applaud the subject of the hearing – legislative proposals to place the Postal Service on a more sustainable path while addressing service performance. You have put your finger on the precise combination of success factors that the Postal Service leadership and I have been focused on for the past 8 months – building a financially sustainable organisation that fulfils our responsibility to the American people and to our employees, and that enables excellent, reliable service that meets the expectations of our customers.
There is difficult work that is ahead of us to fix the systemic problems that have plagued the Postal Service, but I am confident that together those problems can be solved, and I see a bright future ahead for the Postal Service and the public we serve, if we have the collective courage to act. A tangible reflection of our optimism for the long-term viability of the Postal Service is our award yesterday of a production contract for Next Generation Delivery Vehicles.
Let me say at the outset that we must acknowledge that during this peak season, we fell far short of meeting our service targets. Too many Americans were left waiting weeks for important deliveries of mail and packages.
This is unacceptable, and I apologise to those customers who felt the impact of our delays. All of us at the Postal Service, from our Board, to our leadership team, to our union and association leadership, to every employee strive to do better in our service to the American people—and we will do better.
That said, the fundamental challenges that the Postal Service confronted in 2020 made the urgent change that we need to pursue even more evident. The years of financial stress, underinvestment, unachievable service standards, and lack of operational precision have resulted in a system that does not have adequate resiliency to adjust and adapt to changing circumstances.
I am proud of the dedication of our employees, who worked tirelessly to meet our public service mission during the most trying of circumstances. While our performance during the Election was tremendous, the service performance issues that we otherwise experienced during much of the year demonstrate why we must make fundamental changes to provide our customers with the service they expect and deserve.
We need to frankly confront the problems we face, be candid and realistic about the magnitude of the solutions we require, and embrace the few, crucial, elements of legislative help we need from the Congress.
Above all, my message is that the status quo should be acceptable to no one, because the solutions are within reach if we can agree to work together. Our dire financial trajectory, operational and network misalignment to mail trends, outdated pricing, infrastructure underinvestment, inadequate people engagement, and an insufficient growth strategy – all demand immediate action. We have a detailed plan for such action which we will finalise soon, and with your help we can restore a Postal Service that the American people truly deserve.
To confront these urgent issues, our team has been working on a ten-year strategy that will reinforce the Postal Service’s obvious strengths and address our obvious weaknesses.
The key commitments of this plan will include:
– A commitment to six- and seven-day a week delivery service to every address in the nation, not just because it is the law—but because it is a key ingredient to our future success.
– A commitment to stabilizing and strengthening our workforce—especially for our associates who are not yet in a career position. We want every postal employee to have the tools, training, and supportive environment necessary to enjoy a long-term career with us.
– A commitment to investing in our network infrastructure, including vehicles, technology, and package sortation equipment. We demonstrated this commitment with our award yesterday, and look forward to working with Congress to determine if our electric vehicle goals can be accelerated.
In the weeks ahead, I look forward to sharing more information and engaging in discussions about this strategy with public policymakers, our unions and management associations, our employees, our stakeholders, and with the American people.
To be self-sufficient we also need targeted legislation. I thank you for your leadership and renewed interest in addressing our unfair and unaffordable employee retirement health benefit costs that will give us a fighting chance, when combined with the other elements of our plan, for financial sustainability. Importantly these funding changes can be made while sustaining and improving these valued benefits. I look forward to working with you and the Administration to revitalize the Postal Service.”