With just one month left in is fiscal year the US Postal Service has reported an operating loss of $711 million through August. That’s down 63% from the $1.9 billion shortfall the agency reported this time last year. That doesn’t include the arbitrary $5.5 billion a year charge Congress slaps on, and that the USPS never actually pays.
Needless to say, you won’t hear those numbers at this weeks Senate hearing- instead you’ll probably hear more about the alleged “liquidity crisis”. The USPS must be the only agency, organization or company that can have a “liquidity crisis” at the same time that it has $46 billion sitting in a trust fund!
Looking at the real numbers in the USPS report, total revenue is up by 1.4%, while actual (“controllable”) operating expenses are down 0.7%. The uptick in revenue is thanks to shipping and package services, which have seen an 8.4% increase in revenue this year. Despite that growth, however, packages still represent less than a quarter of the USPS’s total revenue.
The postal service’s most profitable service, first class mail, continues to decline, with volume down 3.9% and revenue down 1.9% from a year ago. Standard mail is up slightly for the year, with volume up by 1.6%, and revenue by 2.7%.