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USPS finances

Year-end results reported

Letter carrier scans mail at residential doorstep
San Diego Letter Carrier Jason Pasa scans mail during fiscal 2018’s third quarter.

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018). Here are some highlights:

• Revenue. Total revenue was $70.6 billion, up 1.5 percent compared to the previous fiscal year. The higher revenues were driven largely by continued growth in shipping and packages, where revenue reached $21.5 billion, a 10.1 percent increase that more than offset revenue declines in First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail as a result of declining volumes.

• Volume. Total mail volume was 146 billion pieces, down 2.1 percent. First-Class Mail volume was 56.7 billion pieces, a 3.6 percent decline, while package volume reached 6.1 billion pieces, a 6.8 percent increase. This continued a multi-year trend of declining mail volumes and increasing package volumes.

• Net loss. The Postal Service reported a net loss of $3.9 billion, an increase in net loss of $1.2 billion compared to fiscal 2017. Similar to recent years, USPS was unable to make the $6.9 billion in payments that were due to the federal government at the end of fiscal 2018 to pre-fund pension and health benefits for Postal Service retirees, without putting the organization’s ability to fulfill its primary mission at undue risk.

“The secular mail volume trends continue largely due to electronic diversion and transaction alternatives. We compete for business in every product line, every day from the first mile to last mile,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “We are aggressively managing our business and continuing to focus on serving our customers and communities. However, the flawed business model imposed by law continues to be the root cause of our financial instability. We are seeking reforms that would allow the organization to reduce costs, grow revenue, compete more effectively, and function with greater flexibility to adapt to the marketplace and to invest in our future.”

Brennan added that addressing these urgently needed reforms would then provide an opportunity to consider broader public policy issues and develop long-term solutions to continue to allow the Postal Service to best meet the American public’s needs.

The Postal Service’s Nov. 14 news release has more information.

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