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Corbett discusses pandemic’s financial effects

The coronavirus pandemic is having “a significant negative impact” on the Postal Service’s finances, Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett reports in his latest Dollars and Changevideo.

The pandemic has dramatically accelerated mail volume declines. Although USPS has seen an increase in its package business because more consumers are staying home and having products shipped to them, the growth isn’t enough to fully offset the loss in mail volumes.

“From our projections for the rest of the fiscal year and beyond, the pandemic will continue to cause steep declines in mail volumes and revenue,” Corbett says.

He also reviews the Postal Service’s performance during fiscal year 2020’s second quarter (Jan. 1-March 31), when the organization recorded total revenue of $17.8 billion and total operating expenses of $22.3 billion, leaving a net loss of $4.5 billion.

The pandemic began to affect mail volume in mid-March, so it didn’t have a material impact on the overall quarter.

First-Class Mail revenue experienced a small increase during the quarter due to one-time mailings associated with the 2020 census, although volume was down. Both Marketing Mail revenue and volume declined during the quarter, while shipping and packages revenue and volume increased.

Moving forward, Corbett encourages employees to follow the government’s guidelines to protect themselves from catching and spreading the virus. He also wants employees to continue helping the organization to manage costs and innovate.

“I appreciate your active involvement in managing the levers we can control,” he says.

Additionally, Corbett says USPS needs help at the federal level.

“As Congress and the administration take steps to support businesses and industries around the country, it is imperative that they also take action to shore up the finances of the Postal Service, and enable us to continue to fulfill our indispensable role during the pandemic, and to play an effective role in the nation’s economic recovery,” he says.