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Delivery network revamp may spur more EV orders, Postal Service says

Consolidating delivery operations will streamline battery-charging operations, agency says

More EVs in the next-gen vehicle mix? (Photo: USPS)

The U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday that a sweeping revamp of its delivery network could pave the way for it to procure more electric vehicles than are currently on order.

In a statement, the Postal Service said the proposed delivery network changes will “make delivery routes more efficient.” This, in turn, could change the calculus for adding more EVs to its initial order of 50,000 delivery vehicles that will modernize a chunk of the agency’s old fleet of box trucks. 

The Postal Service, which has already filed an environmental impact statement (EIS) that addresses its fleet modernization plans, said it will supplement the EIS to include the impact of its delivery revamp strategy on future EV ordering trends.

The Postal Service has said that a minimum of 10,019 EVs from Oskhosh Defense Corp., a unit of Oshkosh Corp., (NYSE: OSK) will be part of the order. Adding more EVs to the mix would depend on financial and operating considerations, the agency said. In the statement, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said a modernized delivery network “provides us with such an opportunity” to increase its fleet electrification.

Under the delivery network revamp, the Postal Service plans to consolidate much of its delivery-carrier base into sort and delivery centers, and will place its large carriers that operate over the road into currently unused mail processing plants. It will phase out the 19,000 delivery facility locations, many of which are outdated and in disrepair. In parts of the country, the Postal Service has 40 such facilities within a 10-mile radius.

By consolidating carrier facility operations, the Postal Service said it could reduce the number of buildings where battery-charging installations would be needed. It would also enable more cost-effective upgrades to modern electrical systems and infrastructure because the work could be focused on fewer locations, the agency 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.