Postal Service plans Sunday delivery, still losing money

WASHINGTON — The majority of online orders are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, and its package delivery business rose by double digits in fiscal 2017, but it still lost money on a continued decline in letter volume.

It says it expects another busy holiday season and once again plans Sunday delivery in major cities.

The U.S. Postal Service posted a $2.7 billion loss for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, down from a $5.6 billion loss in fiscal 2016. Fiscal 2017 revenue was $69.6 billion, down from $71.4 billion.

The Postal Service’s package delivery volume rose by 589 million pieces in fiscal 2017, an 11.4 percent increase. But letter mail volumes, the majority of its revenue, declined by 5 billion pieces, or 3.6 percent.

Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan calls the Postal Service’s financial situation serious, but solvable.

“There is a path to profitability and long-term financial stability. We are taking actions to control … costs and compete effectively for revenues in addition to legislative and regulatory reform,” she said. “We continue to optimize our network, enhance our products and services, and invest to better service the American public.”

The Postal Service expects to deliver more than 850 million packages this holiday season, up 10 percent from last year. It says it has increased its network capacity, expanded air and surface transportation, and added package processing capabilities.

It will also expand service to include early morning and evening deliveries, and expects to deliver more than 6 million packages on Sundays in the month of December in most major cities.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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