USPS unveils new sorting facility in Memphis ahead of holiday season

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Inside a new postal facility at 3456 Meyers near Highland and Jackson in North Memphis, man and machine are teaming up to get your holiday packages delivered on time this year.

“It’s a huge, huge deal,” said USPS Operations Industrial Engineer Tsegahun Cherie. “This is the third week we started running robots.”

The postal service gave Action News 5 a tour of the building and a first look at the new equipment bought as part of “Delivering For America,” a 10-year, $40 billion program to modernize the United States Postal Service.

“Last year, the postal service delivered 1.1 billion packages and we’re looking to ship 850 to 950 million packages this holiday season,” said Strategic Communications Specialist Albert Ruiz.

This year’s heavy volume will be handled by two new sorting machines and 10 new robots at the Meyers Road location. Employees place packages on the conveyor belt and the sorter scans the bar codes and moves the packages into boxes with different zip codes.

“They can actually process packages 12-times faster than you would during a manual operation,” said Ruiz.

The sorter can sort 3,000 packages per hour. The robots can sort 350 per hour and move packages weighing up to 70 pounds.

Employees are needed to operate the machinery. USPS has 300 seasonal jobs available in Memphis. Starting pay for workers is more than $18 an hour.

USPS opened 112 of these new annexes across the U.S.

“Here in Tennessee, we have two,” said Ruiz. “This one right here in Memphis, and the other one is in Nashville.”

USPS officials expect to deliver 13 million packages and 12 million letters locally between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

“The post office is going to process a lot of volume we didn’t have this last season, so we are more than ready for peak season,” said Cherie.

USPS is giving technology the green light so customers don’t see red because of delayed deliveries.

“We’re just making sure and we want everybody to know that we’re going to be ready,” said Ruiz.

If you’re interested in applying for a position with USPS, click here.

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