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Getting to Know the Different Kinds of US Postal Facilities

There are more than 500,000 workers and over 200,000 vehicles servicing the needs of the U.S. Postal Service spread out in the different US Postal Service locations around the nation. Postal workers sort and deliver mail to their recipients, connecting not only individuals but homes and businesses to each other. But did you know that the USPS has different kinds of facilities to ensure that they are able to reach the public and do their job efficiently?

If you intend to pursue a postal service career, you can expect to work in any of these postal facilities:

Different Kinds of Post Offices:

  1. Main Post Office/General Post Office is the primary postal facility in a community.
  2. Post Office Station is a postal facility that is not the main post office but that is within the corporate limits of the community.
  3. Post Office Branch is a postal facility outside the corporate limits of the community and not the main post office.
  4. Classified Unit is a branch operated by US postal workers in a facility owned or leased by the USPS
  5. Contract Postal Unit is a branch in a store or other place of business operated by a contractor.
  6. Community Post Office (CPO) is a contract postal unit that provides services in a small community where other post office facilities have been discontinued.
  7. Village Post Office is a facility which will replace the low volume post offices which will close. Village Post Office will be located in local business or government centers and will be operated by entities specified in the contract between the USPS and the entity.

Other Kinds of Postal Facilities:

  1. Finance Unit is a station that gives window services and accepts mail but no delivery.
  2. Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) is a central mail facility that processes and dispatches incoming and outgoing mail to and from a designated service area. There are 275 P&D centers around the nation. A Sectional Center Facility is a type of P&DC for a designated geographical area defined by one or more three-digit ZIP Code prefixes.
  3. International Service Center (ISC) is an international mail processing facility. The five ISCs in the USPS can be found in Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
  4. Network Distribution Center is a central mail facility for processing bulk rate parcels as the hub in a hub and spoke network.
  5. Auxiliary Sorting Facility is the partner of a Network Distribution Center processing bulk rate parcels as spokes in a hub and spoke network.
  6. Remote Encoding Center is a facility where clerks receive images of problematic mail pieces (e.g. hard-to-read addresses) thru secure Internet-type feeds and manually type the address that can be deciphered or read using a special encoding protocol.