Postal service announces intent to move processing, distribution center to Billings

Jordan Smith
Casper Star Tribune Via Wyoming News Exchange

The United States Postal Service has decided to move Casper’s processing and distribution center to Billings, Montana.
The decision comes as part of the USPS’s Mail Processing Facility Review, which it says will help modernize and streamline postal services. The Casper location will be reworked into a local processing center. Local processing centers are limited to sorting “letters and flats to individual mail carrier routes in the regional area,” the USPS Office of the Inspector General’s website says.
Since the postal service has also decided to turn Cheyenne’s processing and distribution center into a local processing center, moving its operations to Denver, Wyoming will have no processing or distribution center.
“ ... the business case supports transferring mail processing outgoing operations to the Billings P&DC in Billings, MT. Currently, a majority of mail is destined outside the Casper area to the rest of the world,” a press release from the USPS states.
The postal service announced on Jan. 10 that it was reviewing Casper; it had begun that process for Cheyenne late last year.
At a public meeting, post office representatives promised that there would be no career employee layoffs and that Casper would receive upgrades as part of its transition. The post office defines career employees as someone who has been with the postal service for more than two years and is guaranteed 40 hours per week.
Felipe Flores, the western division senior director for the USPS, said at the meeting that the postal service will pour $6-8 million into Casper’s redesign.
However, in the press release, the postal service said that they would be putting $5.7 million in, with the aim of renovating bathrooms and breakrooms and giving the center a Flex Rover Sorter Quad, a set of robots that resemble utility carts.
They will also add smart lockers for patrons looking to send and receive packages without having to go up to the counter.
Three positions will be reduced and one management position will be eliminated as part of the changes, the service has said.
In its findings, the USPS announced that a local postmark will still be available and that there will be no changes to box collection times.
“Once changes are implemented, Business mail entry, post office, station, and branch retail services are not expected to change, and delivery services will be enhanced. After the Casper facility is converted to an LPC, it is anticipated that it will be able to mail and ship packages, manual letters and flats. The LPC is also anticipated to offer express services and accept bulk and permit mail,” the press release said.
At the public meeting, representatives for Sen. Cynthia Lummis, members of the public and postal service union workers expressed fear, anger and disappointment at the USPS’s ideas, the Star-Tribune reported at the time.
“We need everything in Wyoming left in Wyoming,” one person said.
A USPS communications representative told the Star-Tribune in an email that there is currently “no timeline for the outgoing operations move at this time.”