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USPS Quarter: Total Volume Down, Revenue Flat

USPS
USPS Quarter: Total Volume Down, Revenue Flat

The USPS reported this week its operating revenue was down less than 1 percent in the first quarter (October 1 – December 31, 2021) compared to the same quarter last year. However, of interest to online sellers: Shipping and Packages revenue decreased 7.9 percent.

Shipping and Packages volume declined 9.7 percent. However, it remains higher than pre-pandemic levels:

“The measured decline in Shipping and Packages volume is a result of the higher package volumes in the prior year due to the pandemic-related surge in e-commerce, which continues to abate as the economy recovers and market competition intensifies. However, Shipping and Packages volume remains higher than pre-pandemic levels.”

First-Class Mail revenue increased 2.5 percent in the 1st quarter of the fiscal year, even though the volume of Mail declined 3.8 percent – the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers noted in a tweet that mail revenue was up “due to record rate increases.”

The USPS worded it this way: “First-Class Mail revenue increased $160 million, or 2.5 percent, compared to the same quarter last year, despite a volume decline of 529 million pieces, or 3.8 percent. The revenue increase was driven by price increases, while the volume decline is reflective of the continuing migration from mail to electronic communication and transaction alternatives, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

Total operating revenue:
$21.3 billion (3 months ended 12/31/2021)
$21.5 billion (3 months ended 12/31/2020)

Total operating volume:
35.091 billion (3 months ended 12/31/2021)
36.587 billion (3 months ended 12/31/2020)

The USPS said service performance continued to improve during the quarter and remained strong through the volume surge associated with the holiday season. It attributed improvements on its Delivering for America plan, “including network infrastructure investments, the installation of new package processing equipment, increased leased space, and enhanced efforts for workforce stabilization, to better meet customers’ evolving needs during the 2021 holiday season and beyond.”

The USPS reported a net loss of approximately $1.5 billion for the fiscal year’s first quarter, compared with a net income of $318 million for the same quarter last fiscal year. The adjusted loss for the quarter was $1.3 billion, compared with an adjusted loss of $288 million for the same quarter the previous fiscal year. This excludes noncash workers’ compensation adjustments for the effects of actuarial revaluation and discount rate changes that are outside of management’s control.

The Postal Service also noted that the increases in both net loss and adjusted loss were partially driven by “inflationary impacts to operating expenses, including rising prices associated with energy and fuel expenses.”

Postal reform legislation is an integral part of the Postal Service’s recovery plan, according to the organization. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in today’s financial press release: “We are encouraged that Congress is moving forward with postal reform legislation and strongly support enactment. These reforms will help ensure that the Postal Service can operate in a financially sustainable manner.”

SOURCES:

“USPS finances: First-quarter results reported,” USPS Link newsletter for employees (2/8/2022)

U.S. Postal Service Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2022 Results,” USPS press release (2/8/2022)

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “USPS Quarter: Total Volume Down, Revenue Flat”

  1. Only going to get worse come April when they jack rates $15 on large packages. Will cut 50% of my packages for sure

  2. Not a peep about the UPS competition on stamps.com
    Where you can’t start a session without that pesky popup window about switching to UPS.

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