U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

ATLANTA – U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is vowing to pause until next year a postal service restructuring plan that has caused massive delays in processing mail at a regional distribution center in Palmetto.

In a letter to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, DeJoy acknowledged complaints he has received from Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., a member of the committee, and other senators citing delays in on-time delivery of mail processed at distribution centers in Georgia and other states.

During a committee hearing last month, Ossoff revealed that only 36% of inbound mail handled by the Atlanta Regional Processing and Distribution Center in Palmetto was being delivered on time as of the end of February, shortly after the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) consolidated a group of local mail distribution offices into the single regional center.  

“In response to the concern you and your colleagues have expressed, I will commit to pause any implementation of these moves at least until after Jan. 1, 2025,” DeJoy wrote to Peters. “Even then, we will not advance these efforts without advising you of our plans to do so, and then only at a moderated pace of implementation.”

DeJoy told the committee the delays in mail processing in Georgia and at a second regional distribution center in Richmond, Va., occurred as the postal service was rolling out a restructuring plan aimed at making the agency financially self-sufficient and better able to compete with private shippers.

DeJoy added at the time that plans to expand the new system nationwide had been put on hold while the postal service resolves the issues causing the delays. His letter to Peters, dated May 9, served to confirm and put a timeframe on that pause.

As he did last month, DeJoy insisted that the restructuring plan is necessary but will take time to work.

“We do not see these planned actions as at all consequential to service,” DeJoy wrote. “Rather, they are important elements of achieving a network that can provide greater service reliability in a cost-effective manner.”

Peters announced the commitment from DeJoy to pause the restructuring plan on social media.

“I’ll keep pushing the postmaster general and USPS Board of Governors for a plan that won’t interfere with critical mail service,” Peters wrote.