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Postal Service hires confidant of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy as its first chief logistics officer

In new role, he will oversee Postal Service’s transportation network, logistics platform

A truck docked at a U.S. Postal service facility. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The U.S. Postal Service said it has created a chief logistics officer position and has tapped Kelly Abney, who has a long working relationship with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, to run it.

Abney, 68, will oversee the Postal Service’s multibillion-dollar transportation network, with a focus on revamping the agency’s surface transportation network so it can reduce its reliance on air transport services, DeJoy said in an internal memo circulated Monday. Abney’s group will also oversee the deployment of a new logistics platform, DeJoy said.

USPS's Kelly Abney
Kelly Abney worked under DeJoy at New Breed Logistics.

Abney, whom DeJoy hired in the summer of 2020 to become the Postal Service’s vice president of transportation strategy, worked with DeJoy at New Breed Logistics, a company founded by DeJoy that was acquired by XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE: XPO) in 2014 for $615 million. Abney then joined DeJoy at XPO, where according to a source close to XPO he spent about three years. Abney also served in high-level transportation and logistics roles at Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

Abney’s new position is part of an organizational realignment under which the Postal Service will separate its logistics and processing and distribution functions. Isaac Chronkhite, who had been in charge of both functions, was named chief processing and distribution officer under the revampment.

In the fall of 2020, the Postal Service established a stand-alone logistics organization responsible for improving its air and surface transportation network. DeJoy is making a major push to shift more parcels and mail to the Postal Service’s underutilized surface network and away from air transportation, which DeJoy has called costly and unreliable.

Under the realignment, Pete Routsolias, vice president of transportation strategy, and Robert Cintron, vice president of logistics, will report to Abney, DeJoy said.

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.