• Project Title:
  • Flats Sequencing System Performance in the Capital Metro Area
  • Start Date:
  • Thursday, January 4, 2018
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • July 2018

The U.S. Postal Service has 100 Flats Sequencing System (FSS) machines nationwide, with 18 in the Capital Metro Area. FSS machines were designed to sort flat-sized mail, which includes large envelopes, newspapers, catalogs, circulars, and magazines, into delivery point sequence (DPS) to eliminate manual sorting for delivery.

In January 2014, the Postal Service made FSS mail preparation a requirement for flats addressed for delivery in ZIP Codes processed by FSS. However, as of January 2017, all FSS discounts were eliminated by the Postal Service.

Our objective is to evaluate machine performance of the Postal Service’s Flat Sequencing System in the Capital Metro Area.

How effective are FSS machines in the Capital Metro Area in sorting mail into delivery point sequence to reduce manual mail sorting?

What factors are ensuring or preventing Capital Metro Area FSS machines from achieving productivity and throughput goals?

Please explain, as a recipient or as a mailer, any benefits or issues you have experienced with FSS machines in the Capital Metro Area.

Comments (10)

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  • anon

    Looking at some of the comments it appears that OIG should do a complete audit of FFS all the way down to the carrier level. It appears that FFS has not produced the savings envisioned at the plant level. BUT, I dare say, from the beginning, no one took the time to see what the consequences would be at the carrier level.

    Feb 25, 2018
  • anon

    FSS Flats are effective about 50% of the time, when there is high flat volume like mondays or a day after a holiday, the other 50% of the time they are a hindrance, with decrease in flat volume they slow down performence, for example when we are required to take out a flat sized 4th bundle it is actually counter productive, or snow storms or in low flat volume days or periods of the year. local management should have authority to decide when it would be beneficial to the postal service to collate or case FSS Flats. I feel it has been my experience as a letter carrier our input or thoughts on the implementation of FSS has been ignored by the Postal Service. some sort of adjustment or change should be implemented as to when & how it is best to take out FSS Flats as a third bundle.

    Feb 24, 2018
  • anon

    I am a Cca and I am not a fan of Fss. It is too difficult to carry as a third bundle and is time consuming to collate on the street. Management doesn’t allow us to case it in in the morning neither. There are frequent mistakes weighing the fss as well.

    Feb 22, 2018
  • anon

    Stop trying to force fss down our throat just because you paid a billion dollars for it. In most cases, it's more efficient to just case it all in before you hit the street. I can case 2 trays of fss faster than I can collate it on the street. Even your supervisors think so or they wouldn't have me do it for the cca's.

    Feb 20, 2018
  • anon

    i shipped my package on Feb 12 2018 and the person has never received on the tracking there still saying u guys has it i don't understand why it taking that long its ridiculous if you cant shipped to the receivable at least send it back to me its been a week and i cant even talk to a real person to how can help with that or if you can't delivery i need my money for the package or send it back to me Thank you

    Feb 20, 2018
  • anon

    FSS is what makes me hate, HATE, my job. I am over encumbered with parcels and spurs in my bag. I now have to juggle letters, FSS and casible mail of flats and letters! It is a nightmare. 90% of my co-workers now have to take the time on the street to fuse the casable mail with the FSS which adds to our street time, but probably less then the time it takes to shuffle a 3rd bundle in hand! And when we have a true 3rd bundle, ie, a pizza place menu, we now have to take extra time in the office to CASE all the FSS!!! Plus the plant has never learned to how to load level, so on Monday or after a holiday we have 5 to 6 trays of FSS! The rest of the week we have or normal 1 to 2 trays. Our routes are all longer, putting more wear on tear on our bodies. People have no choice to work faster and faster to make their times, sacrificing safety! No one willinging wants to work unsafe, but ask much as safety is given lip service, safety is not an acceptable answer as to why you are returning to the office ten minutes late!!! PLEASE GET RID OF FFS.

    Feb 20, 2018
  • anon

    get torn flats all the time

    Feb 19, 2018
  • anon

    Not sure what the final cost totals are. I'm sure it is not saving any amount for USPS. I would say they are losing a lot with FSS. The time carriers spent casing flats only shifted to street time. So where is the savings in that? Another loss in my opinion are possibly on the job injures. Having an extra bundle (FSS) keeps the carrier from having a better vision on any possible trips and falls hazards. They are too busy looking at that extra bundle. Slows them down or they get hurt.

    Feb 19, 2018
  • anon

    Fss unfortunately is not effective and actually takes more street time than office time of 8 per minute casing, yet not many are that slow. Unless you have 3 feet a day I do not see its effectiveness. Our office has had it implemented since 2012 and it has been a disaster, and the lack of distribution clerks does not help either. But the worst of course is any coverage trying a 4th bundle efficiantley is vertually imposible!

    Feb 17, 2018
  • anon

    FSS mail with a single address and multiple delivery points (an office building) at that address is NOT in delivery sequence. This results in carriers hand sorting this mail on the street, in the truck, in the lobby, bringing deliverable mail back to the office for casing or carriers pulling this mail from the FSS trays and casing it. These addresses should be identified and these addresses should be taken out of the FSS/DPS stream.

    Feb 16, 2018

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