Postal Service reports loss of $1.9 billion in 2Q
WASHINGTON — Increased revenue and savings from efficiency efforts were not enough to prevent the Postal Service from losing $1.9 billion in its fiscal second quarter, postal officials said on Friday.
The earnings report, which follows a $1.3 billion first-quarter loss, spurred officials to again call on Congress to enact Postal Service-proposed changes to help stabilize the agency. Officials have urged changes to employee health insurance, retirement and mail delivery schedules.
The Postal Service's second-quarter revenue from package delivery rose by $267 million, or 9.3 percent, compared with the prior year, while revenue from advertising mail was up $96 million, or 2.4 percent. However, revenue from first-class mail, the Postal Service's most profitable category, decreased $198 million, or 2.7 percent. Total mail volume fell to 38.8 billion pieces from 39.4 billion pieces.
The second-quarter loss was less than the $3.2 billion decline for the same period last year, and officials credited their cost-cutting steps. The agency is getting results from closing processing facilities, reducing retail operating hours and downsizing its workforce through retirement incentives, officials said. The number of career employees decreased by about 25,000 in the second quarter and by 46,000 in the past year, bringing the number to just below 500,000, the smallest since 1966.
“Everything that we can do, we have and will continue to do. ... We need action on the legislation,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a conference call with reporters.
He pointed to a requirement that the agency pre-fund health insurance costs for its retirees, calling its removal the “single biggest change that would have the least negative impact.”
Key House and Senate committees have held hearings in recent months on the Postal Service's financial situation, with leaders expressing hope for enacting legislation this year.
The Postal Service has pushed for ending Saturday mail delivery except for packages. But the issue has met resistance in Congress. Last year, the Senate approved legislation that would have delayed five-day mail delivery for two years while trying other cost-saving tactics. A House bill that would have ended Saturday delivery outright never reached a floor vote.
The Postal Service announced this year that it would go ahead with its five-day delivery plan without congressional approval but backtracked last month after its governing board said that language in a budget law requires six-day delivery.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 911 dispatcher hung up on caller before wounded teen’s death in June
- Planned Parenthood requests expert study
- Cincy officer indicted on murder charge in fatal shooting of motorist
- Calif. oil slick expected to dissipate
- Compromise keeps highway accounts funded
- Undocumented alien released, suspected in crime spree
- University of New Hampshire language guide panned
- Clinton to testify before House committee on Benghazi in October
- House approves bill targeting VA staffers
- Cruz switches targets, takes exception with IRS practices
- Feds accuse Philadelphia congressman Fattah of corruption