USPS year to date loss: $1.6 billion- without PAEA: $88 million

The US Postal Service filed its January financial report with the PRC yesterday. The USPS reported a net operating loss of $423 million for the period, bringing the year to date (YTD) loss for the first 4 months of the fiscal year to $1.6 billion. Almost all (95%) of that loss, however, is due to the accounting requirements of the 2006 PAEA law, not actual postal operations. The YTD loss before PAEA charges is just $88 million

Total mail volume was up slightly from the same period last year (SPLY). The increase, however, was entirely in the lower revenue standard mail category, which was up by 4% in January, and 3% year to date. First class mail volume was down 2% for the month, and down 4% year to date. Year to date standard mail pieces outnumber first class by a ratio of about 6 to 5. Package volume was also down.

One cause for concern in the report is an increase in employee workhours even as volume continues to decline. Total hours worked in January were up 2.3% from SPLY. Year to date the increase is 0.3%. “Inside” hours in the plants and post offices are down, but increased hours in delivery and “other” hours (maintenance and administrative) wiped out those savings. The jump in delivery hours may be due to harsh winter weather in many parts of the country.

  • Tlove

    Or lack of personnel. Forced overtime. I just got forced to work my day off and I’m not even on the OT list.

    • EnoughIsEnough

      Don’t worry, your saviours, the CCA’s, are on their way! Of course, you’ll be working 30 over the next day to clean up the crap they’ve mis/not delivered.

  • Brian Gibson

    Gee , could it have anything to do with gas prices ??

    • postalnews

      Could what have anything to do with gas prices?

    • Brian Gibson

      The losses which continue to occur. The Service loses millions a month due to the inability to adjust for gasoline expenses, which are out of their control. Common sense, any business would adjust prices to account for expenses…

      • postalnews

        If you look at the numbers, the USPS is under budget on non-personnel expenses, which includes fuel costs. So- no, the increase in fuel costs doesn’t explain the losses.

        As the article states, 95% of the reported loss is from PAEA pre-funding. If you’re looking at just the controllable expenses, fuel is a factor, but nowhere near as big as salaries and benefits.

        But you’re right that any other business would adjust its prices to account for increases in expenses, whether it’s fuel or payroll.

  • ilpostino

    Or it could be the shortsighted and idiotic way mgt adjusted routes that GUARANTEE that carriers are on the streets for way more than the “approved ” times.. my route was 8 hrs prior to last adj. & due to mgt directives, 100 stops were added and 15 min taken off office time.. The directive from Mgt? It could be worse…

    • a supervisor

      please consider skipping your 30 minute lunch. This would help get you closer to 8 hours.

  • EnoughIsEnough

    The parcel volume in our city has been up significantly since after Christmas!! I highly question the parcel volume decline. Also, additional workhours up 2.3% “may be up due to harsh weather”. Just wait, here’s the new “flavor of the month”…reduce workhours of the regulars and have the CCA’s (at 60% of wage) handle the workload. Of course, these CCA’s will have no interest in accurately delivering squat. Excellent plan, use the fuzzy math to further diminish service to our customers. Excellent plan again Donahoo

    • postalnews

      The package decrease is compared with last year, not last month.

  • Jack Frost

    An $88 million dollar loss? No, no go back and re-read the talking points! USPS would be chugging along flush with cash if they would repeal PAEA.

  • chrissie rusher

    its true. overtime is so high. if they didnt have overburdened routes and proper staffing there would be millions in savings. the post office plans and budgets for somewhere in the neighborhood of 2% overtime, when they are now in the neighborhood of 12 to 15% in some areas…not only that, you cant use the same blanket budget system in California you use in Indiana. The snow and ice destroy our budget or “sply” numbers every year. but the prefunding and the FSS account for most, and almost all our losses in the last fiscal year.

    • postalnews

      FYI- “normal” budgeted overtime is usually more like 4 or 5%. That’s pretty much the minimum you need to cover leave and high volume periods.

  • kevin

    work hours are up because they refuse to fill open routes, and use overtime instead. its not the actual hours that are up, it’s the fact that they pay out 1.5 hours for an hour worth of work. Genius! fill the routes, save money, and less injury days due to short staffing.

    Mail delivery supervision, so easy a caveman can do it…

    • postalnews

      kevin- no, actual work hours are up by the amount mentioned in the article. Straight time hours and overtime hours are counted the same in these reports. Also, straight time hours and overtime hours cost the USPS about the same. Straight time hours include the cost of ALL your benefits, including accrued leave, health insurance premiums, social security/Medicare, pension contributions, etc. That’s roughly 50% of your hourly wage. You don’t get any additional fringe benefits as a result of working OT, so as far as the USPS is concerned, OT doesn’t cost any more (for a career regular) than straight time does.

      The problem with overtime at the levels USPS has been running isn’t the hourly cost- it’s the lower productivity you have when you force people to work all those hours, plus, as you mention, the fact that people working long hours are more likely to be injured.

    • Jon Ulm

      overtime in the postal service is 1.44 hours not 1.5. I wish it were 1.5.

  • Cj

    Delivery times higher but i have to take a third bundle everyday because casing FSS is highly frowned upon in the postal service

  • David Ching

    They need to make some of those useless managment employees deliver mail.