Potential closure of USPS Redmond distribution center would have widespread impact

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USPS plans to consolidate two distribution centers in western Washington.

REDMOND, Wash. — The United States Postal Service’s Redmond Distribution Center handles approximately 1 million pieces of mail each day.

It’s a service that people often take for granted.

“We’re relying on him more than ever during the pandemic for important documents, medicine. We need to make sure we invest in his long-term capacity,” said Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01).

The United States Postmaster General (USPS), Louis DeJoy, however, is considering closing the center and consolidating it with a facility in Tukwila.

The move would impact 17 towns from North Bend to Everett encompassing nearly one million people in King and Snohomish counties.

DelBene represents the area that would be affected and is concerned that consolidation will slow service.

“We will have increased travel times if they are consolidated. We know traffic can be bad. If everything is in Tukwila, you start from there to go to the Eastside and north, instead of Redmond”, said DelBene. .

The Postal Service lost nearly $5 billion last year.

Postal authorities plan to close 18 facilities across the country in a bid to make the agency more efficient.

But DelBene said the USPS uses ten-year-old data and doesn’t account for the region’s growing population.

“For example, the population of Kirkland, which is served by this facility, has nearly doubled over the past decade,” DelBene said.

DelBene recently sent a letter to Postmaster General DeJoy asking him to “immediately suspend plans to move the center of Redmond.”

She adds that the facility may not be operating at peak efficiency due to a labor shortage due in large part to the post office’s own practices.

“It’s been difficult for people to hire at the Eastern Fulfillment Center because it’s under that cloud that it might be closed at some point,” DelBene said. “Who wants to take a job like that?”

The Redmond center employs approximately 60 people.

Sources inside the facility say some workers would have to travel around 50 miles to get to their new place of work.

His last day was due to be February 26, but Delbene said that date was scrapped as post officials decided on their next move.

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