St. John Tradewinds News

Expect Shorter Lines and Faster P.O. Box Service Soon, Says USPS District Manager

Since closing the parcel pickup trailer at the U.S. Post Office in Cruz Bay, residents have complained about standing in lines for more than 45 minutes at a time.

The move, however, is just one step in an on going process of “improvements” planned for the Cruz Bay Post Office, according to USPS District Manager Steven Hernandez.

“I will be glad to share an abbreviated list of improvements that are planned for the Cruz Bay Post Office,” Hernandez wrote, in an email to St. John Tradewinds. “As you know, we have already made some changes with our processes to improve the efficiency. We have moved the package pick up service from the trailer on the side of the building to the pick up door inside the building.”

“This allows us to use employees once assigned to work at the trailer to perform other tasks, such as distributing mail for post office boxes, when they are not assisting customers with package pick ups,” Hernandez wrote.

While painting the trailer closure in a positive light, Hernandez explained that a “misunderstanding” led to the long lines seen last week.

“Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding during our first few days of operation under this new process,” wrote the USPS District Manager. “Our intention was to keep the package pick up separate from the retail window queue. A ‘package pick up-only’ line helps us to quickly serve customers without impacting those who are at the retail window to purchase stamps and other postal services.”

“During the first few days of the new process, the two queues were combined, but that has been corrected,” Hernandez wrote. “By placing the package pick up within the building instead of outside in the trailer, we will insure the security of our packages while providing our customers shelter from the heat and rain. We still have to work out a few glitches, but we will get them resolved quickly.”

Being able to use additional USPS manpower inside the Post Office, will allow the office to fill P.O. Boxes quicker, Hernandez added.

“Also, by increasing the efficiency of the package pick up process, we can also redirect our resources to another timely customer requirement of the office:  the completion of post office box mail by 11 a.m. everyday,” he wrote. “It is important that we attain that target daily to meet our customer expectations for reliable, regular delivery of mail through this premium service.”

The Cruz Bay Post Office is also slated for a new high-tech upgrade this week which should cut down on manual mail processing and actually improve service.

“We will expand our high-speed, computer-aided sorting of letter mail for the Cruz Bay Post office — in a process known as Delivery Point Sequencing — next Tuesday,” the USPS District Manager wrote. “Our DPS process uses the mail processing equipment here in San Juan to put letter mail in the order in which it is to be delivered. This will reduce the handwork needed to sort post office box mail significantly.”

“Again, this new automation process will help us insure that all post office box mail will be boxed up by the 11 a.m. cut-off and keeps our trained personnel dealing with customers in the office,” wrote Hernandez. “I am confident this, too, will aid in relieving the congestion in the office.”

Hernandez is aware that customers were not pleased with the recent changes at the Cruz Bay Post Office and pledged his commitment to improve service at the island’s sole USPS Post Office.

“You have the commitment from our employees at Cruz Bay and the entire Caribbean District to improve service and customer satisfaction,” Hernandez wrote. “We believe these steps will move us in the right direction.”

Residents can share their complaints or compliments on Cruz Bay Post Office service with Hernandez himself by emailing steven.hernandez@usps.gov.