Guest post by Older and Wiser.
Older and Wiser is a rural carrier.
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This is how I see it!
Home, home on the range - Where the deer and the antelope play - Where seldom is heard a discouraging word …
Well boys and girls, today’s discouraging words that are seldom heard is Industrial Study, that black hole of information where carrier interest goes in, but no news ever comes out. A previous blog of mine took the NRLCA to task about the lack of information about the study, but I am also realistic that since the study has started there would be little news until the study is completed. My concern was the union’s ability to translate our actual work in the field to what the three engineers should be evaluating. I will talk about one of these concerns in this blog.
When we think of the 30 seconds allotted for the delivery of parcels, the tendency is to focus on the actual LLV to door process, but there are a number of steps that take time and the engineers must be made aware of the entire series of actions that takes the parcel from post office to the customer’s door step.
First of all, what about the time it takes to process the packages before we load them? My first step is to move the parcels to my case. There is no room in my office to process them where the parcels were scanned in by the clerks. Then, whether we mark packages, sort them in route order, put the small ones in trays, whatever methods we use, it all takes time. Then we need to load our packages onto our carts/skids/bins to start the loading process.
The loading of the parcels is part of the loading time during the count, so there is no need for the Industrial Study to account for this time.
Now we are out on our route and time to deliver parcels. We all remember the last contract and how we carriers lost a lot of evaluation time when the USPS convinced the arbitrator that it was very efficient to deliver mail in an LLV. It’s time for the NRLCA to press for a new evaluation when it comes to using an LLV and packages. It shouldn’t take an industrial engineer long to see the inefficiencies of delivering parcels in an LLV. Just take a look at a UPS or FedEx truck and you see what a package delivery vehicle should look like. You see a truck that has an aisle where you can walk upright and shelves which help in putting the packages in a logical, linear fashion. The best way to test this out would be to load up an LLV with trays of DPS, trays of FSS, trays of raw mail and raw flats, trays of boxholders and then a number of packages. Drive around for 10 minutes to let things move around a little bit and attempt to find packages where they’ve now shifted to.
Next, try to locate the different trays of mail as you need them. I think it is extremely important that the extra time to move around non-parcel equipment is not lost because the parcels are the cause of this extra time. My trays of mail etc. are on the floor of the LLV with the parcels on the mail. I often have problems removing the trays with the packages on top. Parcels topple over blocking the trays and mail falling out of the trays because of the weight of the packages on top are a couple of difficulties I experience. Time is wasted moving parcels around to access the trays.
Do you leave all your parcels in the rear of the LLV or move as many of them as you can to the front? Either way you do it, there is time involved to handle that process. Now we are ready to deliver a parcel to a customer. I will leave this time allotment for the industrial engineers to figure out. Before they figure out the time to deliver, though, the engineers need to get some guidance from the USPS as to the proper procedure as to door delivery. I looked over the PO-603 and there was no procedure for it. Do we affect a UPS type of delivery? That is do we knock on the door and leave the package (non-signature) and return to the truck? Or do we knock and wait to see if a customer answers the door and deliver the package and their mail. What is the choice? Is it “quick and dirty” or more of a customer service approach to package delivery? It takes more time for a customer service delivery, but the engineers need to know which method the USPS prefers so the proper time can be assigned for the selected type of delivery
So, let’s review the time it takes to deliver a parcel:
- Move parcels from waiting area to carrier’s case.
- Process the packages (mark with a card, put in order in trays, etc.)
- Load the parcels into a cart or other conveyance.
- Load into LLV – This time is accounted for in Loading Time.
- Time needed to access non-parcels (mail trays) with packages on top or blocking the non-parcels
- Time needed to move each parcel forward for easy access or time needed to go to back of LLV to find and retrieve an individual package.
- Time to actually go from LLV to the door and return to the LLV after delivering the package based on USPS desired procedures
This is what we deal with on a daily basis to deliver a parcel. We only want to be fairly compensated for the work that we do – All of the work.