The Tucson postmark on letters is no more.
As of Monday, outbound mail processing is now happening in Phoenix instead of the Cherrybell Stravenue processing facility.
The change is the first phase of nationwide mail-processing-center consolidations, which will eventually result in the end of overnight mail delivery and a nearly $2 billion annual savings for the Postal Service.
For now, though, Tucson-area residents won't see any changes in delivery times.
First-class mail collected through the day is being trucked to Phoenix for sorting and processing. The mail being sent to a Tucson address will be returned here for delivery the following day, said Rob Soler, a Postal Service spokesman.
"A misconception that's out there is people visualize us having to add all kinds of transportation to get this mail up to Phoenix, when in actuality the transportation already exists," Soler said.
The outgoing mail change affected about eight Tucson workers, Soler said. Those employees were moved to other positions, he said.
In the second phase of the consolidations, which will happen locally next February, inbound mail will be processed in Phoenix.
When that phase is complete, overnight delivery will end nationwide, Soler said.
Nationwide, 461 mail processing centers will be consolidated to 232 by the end of 2014, Soler said.
Once the consolidation is complete nationally, delivery times for first-class mail will increase by one day, going from delivery in one to three days to reaching mailboxes in two to three days, he said.
Ending processing operations at the Cherrybell center will save the Postal Service $14 million a year. The final consolidation will result in the loss of 147 jobs locally.
The Cherrybell facility will still continue to offer retail services, Soler said.
Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at email@example.com or at 573-4224.