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Weathering the storm

USPS provides solution after Amazon facility collapse

The Postal Service is helping Amazon following the collapse of the company’s delivery station in Edwardsville, IL.

The Postal Service didn’t have to be asked twice. In fact, it didn’t have to be asked at all.

The very night a powerful tornado caused the collapse of an Amazon delivery station in Edwardsville, IL, Jay Smith, the Postal Service’s enterprise and key accounts director, texted a contact at the retail behemoth to offer moral and practical support.

That was Dec. 10, 2021. On Dec. 11, as the town grieved the deaths of six workers, and first responders worked to secure the site, teams from USPS and Amazon hashed out a plan to keep deliveries moving.

Five days later, the first packages were redirected from four Amazon fulfillment centers in Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma to the USPS package processing center in St. Louis.

Between Dec. 16, the date when the volume was first added, and Jan. 31, there were 55 destination delivery unit shipments and a volume increase of 574,000 pieces to 70 delivery ZIP Codes, all at a performance rate of 97.4 percent.

Considering the tragic situation, the teams’ plan “executed very well and there were no major difficulties,” Smith said.

He cited exceptional work from Robert Deboard, operations and business account specialist; Kansas-Missouri District Manager Pamela Dunaway; Julie Greer, enterprise account director; DeVette Murphy, Network Distribution Center manager; Ronda Palm, in-plant support manager; Rick Pivovar, division processing operations senior director; and Jaswant Thiara, distribution operations manager.

The setup is continuing at least through March.

“It was impressive to see how this cross-functional team came together to create a solution in just a few short days,” Smith said.

“It shows the power of our people and our network.”