USPS Parcel Growth Continues, As Mail Volume Drops, Loss Declines

The U.S. Postal Service reported a 14.1% increase in package volume, and an 11.1% increase in shipping and package revenue for fiscal 2015, while posting a net loss of $5.1 billion, largely due to pension costs. This was down from a $5.5 billion loss in 2014.

Overall revenue increased $1.1 billion in 2015 to $68.9 billion. In comparison to the continuing surge in package business, first-class mail and standard mail volume decreased by 2.2% and 0.3%, respectively, in 2015.

Controllable operating expenses increased $1.3 billion. The USPS said this was due to factors including higher benefit-related compensation costs and added work hours, the latter partly associated with growth in its more labor-intensive shipping and package business.

“We achieved controllable income in excess of $1 billion for the second consecutive fiscal year giving us some limited flexibility to make critical investments in the future of the organization,” said Postmaster General and CEO Megan J. Brennan. “To maintain this success we will need to continue our efforts to grow the business and drive operational efficiencies. However, we will also need the enactment of legislation that makes our retiree health benefit system affordable and that provides increased pricing and product flexibility.”

Controllable income is defined as net loss excluding expenses related to the mandated prefunding of retirement health benefits, actuarial revaluation of retirement liabilities and non-cash workers’ compensation adjustments, which are factors largely outside of USPS management’s control.

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