News & information

USPS awards contract for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV)

On February 23, 2021, NALC received notification the Postal Service has awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV).

Under the initial contract, Oshkosh Defense, based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, will finalize the production design of the NGDV – a purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery. The NGDVs will include fuel efficient gas engines or gas-electric hybrid powertrains, air conditioning, 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, air bags, and a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual and audio warnings. The vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to better accommodate higher parcel volumes.

The purpose of the NGDV is to replace the aging fleet of LLVs and to expand the current delivery fleet.   The Postal Service anticipates Oshkosh will produce between 50,000 and 165,000 NGDVs under the initial contract. However, the Postal Service will have the ability to order more vehicles during the 10-year contract period. Based on the anticipated 18-month timeline communicated to NALC, the first NGDVs will be deployed in the summer of 2023. To bridge the gap between today and the deployment of the NGDV, the Postal Service has acquired commercial off-the-shelf vehicles, such as the right-hand drive Mercedes Metris and the Dodge ProMaster to supplement the delivery fleet.

The road to the contract award has been a long one for the Postal Service and letter carriers.  The NGDV program began in June of 2014, when NALC received notification from the Postal Service they were going to begin soliciting input from letter carriers regarding their preferences for the next delivery vehicle.  Later that fall, NALC met with USPS representatives at the USPS Engineering Facility in Merrifield, Virginia regarding future vehicle initiatives.  Beginning in March of 2015, a small group of letter carriers selected by NALC were invited to the engineering facility to provide feedback on prospective design specifications for the new vehicles.  After gathering feedback from the selected employees, USPS developed a list of design preferences and selected manufacturers to develop and produce vehicle prototypes for testing.  Initially, six companies were involved in the program; however, one manufacturer exited before developing a prototype. 

The Postal Service began durability and emissions testing on the NGDV prototypes in September of 2017.  During the course testing, USPS identified problems with the prototypes and halted all tests until the manufacturers could make repairs to the vehicles.  All test vehicles were transported to the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in East Liberty, Ohio for repairs and to ensure the vehicles were safe for operation by letter carriers.  NALC Director of City Delivery, Christopher Jackson and members of his staff visited the TRC in February 2018 to observe the repairs being made and the durability testing.

Letter carriers in various locations across the country were provided familiarization training on the prototypes before they were offered the opportunity to use the prototypes for delivery.  These carriers began field testing the prototypes in March of 2018.  Field testing of the five prototypes continued in the various test sites around the country and was completed in March of 2019. USPS engineering then drafted a Statement of Work (SOW) based on the data gathered during the different types of tests conducted.  Once the initial SOW was complete, NALC was provided a copy to review. Over the next few months, Chris Jackson and his staff met on several occasions with USPS engineering, safety, and labor relations to provide feedback and express concerns related to the SOW and observed testing of the prototypes.  After addressing the concerns raised by the NALC, the Postal Service drafted the final SOW, which was provided to the remaining manufacturers.   

Based on the timeline information provided by USPS, NALC was optimistic a contract would be awarded in late 2019 and the first production NGDVs would be available for use in 2021.  However, due to budget constraints and the Covid-19 pandemic the NGDV program was put on hold. 

NALC is pleased to provide the membership with the good news that a contract for the NGDV has finally been awarded and hopefully, the NGDVs will be on the road in 2023.  In the meantime, NALC will continue discussions with USPS on how to meet the vehicle needs of the delivery fleet in the interim.

For more information on the NGDV contract, click here to access the USPS News Link.