The Postal Service could take better advantage of cost-saving technologies such as alternative fuel vehicles and data collection for improving efficiency, an IG report has said.
The report focused on the Postal Vehicle Service fleet, which moves mail between processing facilities, inner-city delivery offices and local businesses and mailers—a fleet of some 4,300 vehicles that consumed about 19 millions of diesel fuel in 2016. USPS is planning to replace about half of them over the next two years.
While management considered purchasing alternative fuel vehicles it decided against it on grounds that the additional cost could not be recovered during the projected eight-year useful life of those vehicles, it said.
“However, our analysis determined that the Postal Service, on average, uses PVS vehicles for about 13 years,” the report said, adding that in addition to the cost savings beyond eight years, USPS would be reducing the environmental impact of running its vehicles.
The Postal Service further plans to install GPS tracking devices on PVS vehicles, but not telematics technology that would provide information that could be used to reduce fuel consumption, such as engine diagnostics. “According to management, they did not consider procuring and installing telematics devices because of limited resources and other competing initiatives,” the IG said, recommending that management reconsider that decision as well.