The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Maintenance Inefficiencies Costing USPS $21.8M a Year

May 06, 2015, by Paul Clinton - Also by this author

Photo of USPS vehicle via Wikimedia.
Photo of USPS vehicle via Wikimedia.

The U.S. Postal Service could reduce its maintenance costs by $21.8 million a year by improving oversight of its mechanics and right-sizing staffing at vehicle garages, according to finding by the U.S. Office of Inspector General.

By implementing recommendations from the report, the USPS would save 431,129 work hours, which adds up to $21.8 million.

Vehicle maintenance facilities weren't operating at peak efficiency when compared to established targets, the report found. Work order hours that exceeded timecard hours, which is known as undistributed labor, accounted for 11% of total maintenance labor costs and exceeded the established target of 3%, according to the report.

The report cited a lack of supervisory oversight as a driver of the higher costs. Overhead, including supervisory and support labor costs, accounted for 24% of total maintenance costs, which were lower than the established target of 24%. The maintenance facilities had 109 vacant administrative and supervisory positions.

The USPS maintains its fleet using 316 vehicle maintenance facilities that service 211,264 vehicles. The USPS also contracts with commercial garages for maintenance and repair. In fiscal year 2014, the USPS spent $1.1 billion on maintenance expenses.

The inspector general's office audited facilities in the Capital Metro and Pacific areas during fiscal year 2013 to assess maintenance operations in the Eastern, Great Lakes, Northeast, Southern, and Western areas.

Read the full audit report here.

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  1. 1. Dirk [ May 06, 2015 @ 08:19PM ]

    Just another reason why the United States Post Office needs to be disbanded. It is outlived its usefulness. And is causing the American taxpayers way too much money to keep afloat.

  2. 2. Rob [ May 07, 2015 @ 10:41AM ]

    There is no doubt that there are changes that need to be made in the postal maintenance facilities but disbanding the USPS is not the answer. Maybe out sourcing to certified private sector repair facilities for vehicle issues that go beyond the "normal Maintenace" I feel would serve as a better solution and not cause a huge unemployment ripple across the entire U.S. Plus for the mechanics that would be effected it would give them employment opportunities in the private sector.

  3. 3. Dirk [ May 07, 2015 @ 10:01PM ]

    I am sorry, but worrying about unemployment, legacy costs(auto makers), and shady home loans (banks) is what put this country into a recession. We can not worry about unemployment of a archaic private/government run agency. I worked for the post office during the Christmas season (truck driver). I was shocked at the amount of waste that was going on in just the small areas that I saw in the Post Office. Multiple people doing the same job, people just standing around and a lot of redundancy. There are many other ways to mail a letter, send a package, get a passport and any other services the post office provides. The Post Office needs to be disbanded now!

  4. 4. Cliff Gant [ May 13, 2015 @ 02:09PM ]

    DON'T YOU KNOW THIS IS HOW THE GOVERNMENT WORKS !!! OVER 200 years in business and still cant show a profit BUT THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS ARE TOPS.. and for life....

  5. 5. dkj vi skdr [ August 14, 2015 @ 05:45PM ]

    The postal service veh. Maint. Section is being micro managed and the whol operatjons are totally screwed up by stupid people managing them. Am a 33 year mechanic with the usps and managment is ....... it. Up

  6. 6. MC [ September 09, 2015 @ 07:59PM ]

    I hope the USPS starts concentrating more on packages and express deliveries sooner than later. Snail mail is on its last leg, and the USPS needs to modernize its business model if it wishes to survive. Same-day to two-day package delivery demand is bursting at the seams and they need to focus more on that.

    The USPS is not a company run by useless shareholders looking to milk the cash cow, so stock prices and short-term mega profits is not their main goals. Package damage is minimal through the USPS. I've only ever received 2 damaged packages from the USPS, one was over a decade ago and neither time was the item within damaged. I prefer to use them as much as possible.

    Both UPS and FedEX deliver open/broken/bent/dented packages nearly 100% of the time and it's a crap-shoot on whether or not the item is damaged. This is due to short-staffing, overworked crews and unreasonable goals set by corporate monkeys with only stock prices on their minds. I've completely stopped using FedEx (except at work where I have no choice) and only use UPS when I need overnight delivery.


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