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Challenges ahead for the US Postal Service


Postal Service reports massive loss.

The agency reported an annual loss of $5.1 billion, as declining mail volumes and mounting benefit costs take their toll. The Postal Service said its losses would have been roughly $10.6 billion if not for the passage of legislation postponing a $5.5 billion payment required to fund retiree health benefits.

Revenues from First-Class Mail, the Postal Service’s largest and most profitable product, declined 6% from the previous fiscal year to $32 billion. Total mail volume declined by 3 billion pieces, or 1.7%.

“The continuing and inevitable electronic migration of First-Class Mail, which provides approximately 49 percent of our revenue, underscores the need to streamline our infrastructure and make changes to our business model,” Postal Service CFO Joe Corbett said in a statement accompanying the figures.

Last year’s losses hit $8.5 billion, despite deep cuts in expenses and staffing. Mail volume is down more than 20% over the past four years.

A really big challenge to turn the post office around for sure. Adafruit is in NYC near once of the biggest mail facilities in the world – for customers who choose USPS, this why our packages get to so many places so fast and we have a great relationship with our local post offices because of the volume we do. We do think that Saturday service might go soon in parts NYC, but that’s just a guess. It will be interesting to see how and if the postal service adapts and streamlines.

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  1. I hate to say this but my snail mail is mostly advertisements. Almost all my correspondence and bill paying is done through electronic means. Most deliveries are through UPS or Fedex.

  2. I value the post office because the deliveries from Adafruit are cheaper.

    I don’t trust the internet enough to give it access to my bank account. I don’t believe the internet is safe because of what I know and there were 60 patches for vulnerabilities one year. I believe internet security is one big cat and mouse game.

  3. Now would be a good time to start using those Business Reply Mail envelopes to return (blank) credit card applications. The post office needs you!

  4. I was wondering yesterday if it would make any different if non-package delivery went to once a week. My conclusion was that it wouldn’t make a large difference. Virtually everything sent via standard USPS are time insensitive enough that it doesn’t matter if it arrives give or take a few days. (It still takes 6-10 days to get a letter to my brother who is only one time zone away.) If it is time sensitive then there services for that already.

    Not that it wouldn’t be a sad landmark if it happened, but I expect it probably will.

  5. One of the problems is that the postal service has to account for its retirement money in a way no corporation or anyone else does so it shows a huge loss although they aren’t losing money this year. It is as if your IRA had to have a million dollars today or you would be technically bankrupt.

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