After countless delays for the next generation of delivery vehicles, the Postal Service has come out with some good news: their delivery fleet is finally getting a much needed makeover. USPS has officially awarded Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense with a 10-year, multi-billion dollar contract to manufacture the next generation of new USPS delivery trucks.
Postal Service’s Introduction of New, Modern Trucks is Part of 10-Year Plan
Oshkosh agreed to what is called an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract. This means that USPS will be able to order more of the vehicles throughout the 10-year timespan. During that period, the contract stipulates that USPS can and will order anywhere between 50,000 and 165,000 of the vehicles.
The 10-year contract includes an initial investment of $482 million, which will kickstart production of the first vehicles. More specifically, that $482 million will be allocated to plant tooling and building the United States manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will take place.
In a broader view, the investment is part of a 10-year plan that USPS has developed (but has yet to release) to transform the organization and steer it back to financial health. Over the next 10 years, USPS leaders hope to improve financial performance and customer service through significant investments in people, technology and infrastructure…and this contract for Oshkosh to develop new delivery vehicles is a key cornerstone of that plan.
The Specifics on the Next Generation Delivery Vehicles from Oshkosh (NGDV’s)
The Oshkosh NGDV’s will be a far cry from the Grumman LLV’s that make up the current USPS delivery fleet. The new USPS fleet of trucks will feature both low-emission, internal-combustion-engine vehicles, as well as battery electric powertrains that can adapt to keep up with advances in EV technology. They will also come with air conditioning and airbags—both of which the current Grumman LLV’s lack. Furthermore, the Oshkosh trucks will include heating, a 360-degree camera, a front and rear collision avoidance system, and automated emergency braking.
With NGDV’s, USPS also Considering the Environment
With the new Oshkosh fleet, USPS leadership has also prioritized reducing the organization’s carbon footprint. In regards to the environmental impact, Postmaster Louis DeJoy said the following:
“Our fleet modernization also reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to a more environmentally sustainable mix of vehicles. Because we operate one of the largest civilian government fleets in the world, we are committed to pursuing near-term and long-term opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment.”
New USPS Trucks are Long Overdue
Right now, roughly 200,000 Grumman Long Life Vehicles make up the USPS fleet…and they’re far beyond the end of their lifespan. The stories are infamous. They have caught fire. They have broken down on the sides of the road. Most importantly, the Postal Service hasn’t made any updates to the vehicles since it introduced them in the 1970’s. Meanwhile, other carriers such as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon have all made considerable investments into their delivery fleets (Amazon purchased a central air hub in Kentucky, while UPS has rolled out autonomous delivery drones). USPS, on the other hand, has long lagged behind its competitors.
Luckily, with Oshkosh Defense helming the project, the era of a brand new USPS delivery fleet is not too far off on the horizon.
Earlier today (2/23), Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and other USPS executives gathered for remarks and the awarding of the contract. If you’d like to watch coverage of the event, you can check out the video on the USPS newsroom page.