Many of you likely use Global Position System (GPS) on a regular basis, driving to someplace new or maybe using a GPS-driven app to avoid traffic. But did you know the Postal Service uses GPS to manage its highway transportation contracts?
In 2016, the Postal Service implemented a new program, the Enterprise Transportation Analytics (ETA) system, which relies on GPS to provide real-time data to measure its trailer usage, provide location visibility, estimate time of arrival, optimize travel routes, and improve service. To put a number on it, the Postal Service managed over 12,200 highway contract routes (HCRs) as of January 2020 and had purchased almost 22,000 GPS devices.
In our recent audit, we looked at whether USPS was effectively managing this program. We found the GPS information (e.g., asset number, GPS requirement indicator, etc.) is not routinely updated, nor is it consistently managed. The problem? Management didn’t provide adequate guidance, training, or oversight of the GPS program. As a result, the Postal Service didn’t have an accurate count of the number of routes requiring GPS or the number of vehicles used on the routes. There also were other problems in communicating about ETA, and almost four of every ten HCR suppliers were never contacted about the program.
Because of our work, the Postal Service began a new national Highway Contract Route Trailer Validation initiative on June 25, 2020.
What are your thoughts on other ways could the Postal Service use GPS?