FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM JANUARY 6, 2022 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Flushing USPS distribution center breaks record during holiday season
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
For the United States Postal Service,
the “most wonderful time of the year”
is always the busiest time of the year.
QNS got a behind-the-scenes tour of the
USPS processing and distribution center
in Flushing, one of New York’s largest
Amy Gibbs, Strategic Communications
Specialist for USPS, shared that on Dec. 7
and Dec. 14, the distribution center broke
postal records — processing over 1 million
packages in one day.
Four hundred seasonal hires
support the existing 700
full-time employees at
the distribution center
holidays to ensure
that USPS hired
a total 40,000
that as part of Post
Master General Louis
DeJoy’s 10-year plan,
“Delivering for America,” the
USPS added 112 new packing
sorting machines, leased 13 million
square feet of additional space, and made
changes about how to convert pre-career
employees into career employees.
“We learned from our mistakes last
year, developed a plan and we’ve been
implementing it,” Gibbs said. “And so far,
The USPS distribution facility in Flushing processed over 1 million packages on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, 2021.
it’s been going a lot smoother this year.”
During the tour, Steven Grant, the USPS
Flushing distribution center’s acting plant
manager, explained that the plant, which
operates 24/7, does not handle letters or
fl ats, solely parcels.
“Parcels are the newest frontier of the
Post Offi ce,” Grant said. “It used to be letters
and fl ats. I worked on it all. But it
changed to parcel processing, which is so
much more exciting, so much more mail.”
Gibbs remarked that due to the increase
in e-commerce during the COVID-19
pandemic — a trend that was already happening
before the pandemic hit the U.S. in
March of 2020.
“It started to feel like the holiday season
in April, and the trend has continued,”
One of the sorting machines at the
Queens facility is the HTTPS —the largest
machine in the facility.
Peter Lemza, distribution operations
manager, explained that the HTTPS cost
$44,000,000 and was only one of two in
operation nationwide. Th e second one is
at a USPS distribution center in Denver,
Th e parcels are dumped onto a conveyor
belt on the fi rst fl oor, which proceeds
to the facility’s second fl oor. Th e packages,
national and international, are scanned
by mail processing clerks at one of the 14
scanning stations. From there, the packages
continue on a diff erent conveyer belt
and drop into one of the 600 bins, which
are organized by ZIP code.
One of the eight Daifuku smart carts, an
automatic guided card, loads the bins and
unloads them onto a dock. From there, a
Photos by Gabriele Holtermann
lift takes the bins back down to the main
fl oor to dispatch.
Pamela Monroe, who has been with
USPS for 16 years, is the HTTPS supervisor.
She shared that she worked at the
SPSS machine before but volunteered
to work on the HTTPS four years ago
because she wanted to take on a new challenge.
She explained that it requires 22 clerks
and eight male handlers to run the
machine on the second fl oor. Most of the
clerks are responsible for scanning the
packages, while the mail handlers dispatch
the boxes once they are fi lled up.
Pointing to a computerized board, she
said, “Th is is a feed system. You have to
watch this board because sometimes they
have blockages when the mail is coming
into the system. So if you don’t pay attention,
you won’t get any mail, and then
everybody’s like, ‘We don’t have any mail.’”
Pecoli Franklin, who goes by the name
of Pepsi, has been a USPS mail handler at
the Queens facility for 27 years. She said
that the volume of mail has increased
and is getting busier, but she and her colleagues
were working hard to make sure
that the mail reached its fi nal destination.
“I want my mail to get delivered to me.
And I want other people’s mail to be delivered
to them,” Pepsi said. ” I treat the mail
like it is mine. It’s a good feeling because
people receive their mail, especially this
time of the year. I love it. I love it!”
Wo r k e r s
at the USPS
d i s t r i b u t i o n
facility in Flushing.
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