WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service posted a $1.6 billion third quarter loss, and reported that first-class mail volume continued to fall last quarter.
Online shopping however continues to boost the service’s package and shipping business.
The Postal Services’ shipping and packages business saw an 18 percent increase in revenue and a 13.6 percent increase in volume compared to the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, first-class mail revenue fell 5.5 percent along with a 3.4 percent drop in volume.
The USPS’s shipping and packages business is biting both ways. While volume is up, so are expenses as a result. The Postal Service said that labor costs increased by $387 million, largely due to the increase in package volume and transportation costs, which increased by $97 million.
The Postal Service continues to seek help from Congress, and has been calling for relief from its mandate to prefund retiree health benefits for years.
“We continue to post double-digit gains in package volume and are well-positioned operationally for further growth,” said Postmaster General Megan Brennan. “Despite the encouraging numbers, net losses continue to mount. Our results in the quarter further underscore the need for legislative reform that provides the organization with greater financial stability.”
The U.S. Postal Service’s total fiscal third quarter revenue was $17.7 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago.