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We didn’t create our blog just to use the catchy name, Pushing the Envelope. We did it to inform and engage stakeholders about our work, particularly our audits and white papers, and the occasional topical issue. 

 

Opioids and the Mail

It’s been said the opioid epidemic does not discriminate. Its impact is felt in all communities — rural or urban, big or small, wealthy or poor. As was noted at a recent Senate hearing, nearly every American has been touched in some way by this crisis.

Policymakers are looking to attack the problem from all sides: greater access to treatment; increased funding for municipalities and their first responders; updated training for doctors in prescribing opioids; tougher penalties for drug dealers; and cooperation from pharmaceutical companies.

 

Thinking Strategically About PVS

It takes a lot of vehicles to move 154 billion pieces of mail each year. And a lot of fuel to power those vehicles.

While the Postal Service’s Postal Vehicle Services (PVS) fleet is a small part of the entire fleet — about 4,300 vehicles made up of cargo vans, tractors, and smaller tractor-trailers known as spotter vehicles — it is a crucial part. PVS vehicles move mail between processing facilities, inner-city delivery offices, and local businesses and mailers. Their usual travel distance is about a 50-mile radius.

 

Facility Security Review

The U.S. Postal Service has one of the largest federal property portfolios in government. And with good reason. Its facilities support the delivery of mail to over 157 million delivery points.

One of USPS’s major responsibilities is to ensure these facilities are as safe as they can be, to protect the mail, the employees who work there, and the customers who visit every day. To meet these goals, the Postal Service relies on its managers and the Postal Inspection Service.

 

Top 10 Postal Stories of 2017

It’s that time of year again. Our annual list of the top 10 stories from the postal and logistics world. And who doesn’t love a list?

As always, we had no shortage of stories. In fact, the hardest part every year is narrowing the list down to 10. (Now we appreciate how difficult it is for the Football Bowl Series to rank college football programs for the annual four-team playoff!)

The OIG staff sifted through the postal-related news of 2017 and put together a top 10 list of stories. In reverse order of importance, here they are:

 

Season's Greetings

Pushing the Envelope wishes our readers a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year. We will take a break this week, but we encourage you to read over the past year’s blogs and let us know what you think about any of the wide range of topics we blogged on in 2017.

On January 1, we will post our annual list of the Top 10 Postal Stories of the Year – one of our most popular blogs of the year.

 

The Right Sort of Sorting

As package volumes climb, so too has the U.S. Postal Service’s investments in sorting systems. Since 2015, it has deployed 33 Small Package Sorting System (SPSS) machines costing over $141 million. It intended to invest another $23 million to have seven more SPSS machines operational during the current holiday season.

 

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