WASHINGTON (AP) -
The U.S. Postal Service lost $2 billion this spring despite increasing its
volume and charging consumers more money to send mail, officials said
The loss for the
spring quarter, which ended June 30, was significantly higher than the $740
million loss for the same three-month period last year. The agency blamed
increases in compensation and benefit costs for the red ink and said it
would be unable to make a congressionally mandated payment of $5.7 billion
this September for health benefits for future retirees. The loss came
despite a 2 percent increase in operating revenue compared to last spring.
"Due to continued
losses and low levels of liquidity, we’ve been extremely conservative with
our capital, spending only what is deemed essential to maintain existing
infrastructure,” said Joseph Corbett, the Postal Service’s chief financial
The Postal Service
is an independent agency that receives no tax dollars for its day-to-day
operations but is subject to congressional control. It has asked to end most
Saturday deliveries, a request that is languishing in Congress amid
opposition by postal unions. The agency also is seeking to eliminate the
congressionally mandated $5.7 billion annual payment for future retiree
president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, agrees that
Congress should get rid of the 2006 mandated payment but says it would be
“irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses” just
as postal delivery is rebounding with the economy. Because more people are
shopping online, “the Internet is now a net positive for USPS, auguring well
for the future as e-commerce grows,” Rolando said in a statement.
The Postal Service
has defaulted before on federally mandated annual payments to cover expected
health care costs for future retirees. Corbett said the agency also needs
$10 billion to replace old vehicles, buy new package sorting equipment and
make other infrastructure upgrades.
Other findings from
the latest quarterly report compared to the same time period last year:
package revenue was up 6.6 percent, while standard mail revenue increased
5.1 percent. The increase was attributed both to higher volume and prices
charged to consumers.
volume declined by 1.4 percent, but revenue climbed 3.2 percent because of
increased by $327 million to $16.5 billion.
increased by $1.5 billion to $18.4 billion.