Postal Updates

USPS records $1.8 billion loss during second quarter of fiscal 2023

May 29, 2023, 1 PM

By Linn’s Staff

The United States Postal Service posted a loss of $1.8 billion during the second quarter (Jan. 1 through March 31) of fiscal year 2023, which began Oct. 1, 2022.

That loss is noticeably higher than the $639 million loss the Postal Service reported for the same quarter last year.

Total operating revenue for the second quarter came in at $19.3 billion, a drop of $484 million, or 2.4 percent, compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2022.

Total second-quarter operating expenses were $22 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion, or 7.6 percent, compared to last year.

Revenue for first-class mail climbed to $33 million on a decline in volume of 1.1 billion pieces compared to 2022. Marketing mail revenue fell to $161 million on a decline of 1.7 billion pieces.

Compared to last year, shipping and package revenue decreased by $162 million, and volume dropped by 89 million pieces.

“We continue to be challenged by declining mail volumes and rising operating costs due to inflation,” Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett said in a May 9 press release.

In an effort to manage costs, the USPS reduced work hours by 7 million hours compared to the second quarter last year, Corbett said.

“However, price increases are necessary to try to offset declining mail volumes and inflation,” he said.

The USPS plans to raise first-class mail rates on July 9.

The proposed increases will raise first-class mail prices by roughly 5.4 percent, the USPS said.

Postage for a 1-ounce first-class letter will increase by 3¢, from 63¢ to 66¢. A metered 1-ounce letter will rise from 60¢ to 63¢.

A domestic postcard, which currently requires 48¢ postage, will see a 3¢ jump to 51¢. Postage for an international postcard and a 1-ounce international letter will advance from $1.45 to $1.50.

The additional-ounce rate for domestic letters will remain at 24¢, the Postal Service said.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in the May 9 statement that despite the disappointing financial results, the Postal Service is making rapid progress on its 10-year Delivering for America plan.

According to DeJoy, the plan “has already produced strong service performance and efficiency improvements and is creating a much more capable and effective operational model for the nation.”

“We continue to focus on achieving break-even financial results for the 10-year period, although inflationary and economic conditions, as well as administrative hurdles, have proven difficult,” DeJoy said.

“The increase in the pace of change now required to achieve our financial goals will continue to be balanced with providing service performance throughout the nation.”

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