The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal year 2021’s second quarter (Jan. 1-March 31). Here are some highlights:
• Revenue. Total revenue was approximately $18.9 billion, up 6 percent compared with the same quarter one year earlier. First-Class Mail revenue decreased by 6.1 percent, while Marketing Mail revenue declined 13.7 percent. Revenue from shipping and packages increased 33.6 percent. However, the demand for package deliveries during the coronavirus pandemic was not enough to offset increased operating costs and an ongoing decline in revenue from mail services.
• Volume. Total volume was approximately 30.7 billion pieces, down 9.8 percent from one year earlier. First-Class Mail volume dropped 7.9 percent, while Marketing Mail volume was down 13.5 percent. Shipping and packages volume increased 25.3 percent.
• Expenses. Total operating expenses, including noncash workers’ compensation adjustments, were $19 billion for the quarter, a decrease of 15.1 percent compared with the same quarter last year. Compensation and benefits expense increased 4.4 percent, primarily resulting from higher work hours associated with the package volume growth, contractual wage increases and an increase in paid leave associated with the pandemic. Transportation expenses increased 16.7 percent, primarily due to the effect of higher package volumes on air and highway transportation and shifts in average package dimensions.
• Net loss. The Postal Service reported a net loss of $82 million, compared with a net loss of approximately $4.5 billion for the same quarter last year. Excluding noncash workers’ compensation adjustments for each period, the loss for the 2021 second quarter would have been approximately $1.7 billion, compared with a loss of approximately $1.9 billion for the same quarter last year.
The quarter included the March 23 release of the Postal Service’s 10-year plan, Delivering for America, which aims to achieve service excellence and a return to financial sustainability while maintaining universal six-day mail delivery and expanding seven-day package delivery.
The plan also calls for investments in technology, training, Post Offices, a new vehicle fleet and the modernization of the USPS network, among other improvements.
“With our Delivering for America plan, the Postal Service will become a growth-oriented, high-performance organization that operates with greater precision, achieves 95 percent on-time delivery and does so at a lower cost to serve,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “As we undertake this transformation — for the benefit of our customers, employees and the American public — we will operate and invest as a going concern with service excellence, a bright future of growth and financial sustainability.”
The Postal Service’s Form 10-Q, available on the usps.com Financials page, has additional information.