The United States Postal Service announced earlier this week that it was going to stop delivering mail on Saturdays. Well, now we know why. USPS lost $1.3 billion during the last three months of 2012.
The LA Times reports that the holiday shipping season typically boosts the postal service’s numbers but this year’s boost wasn’t enough to make up for the $1.3 billion net loss. USPS did see a 4% increase in package delivery but that wasn’t close to enough to get them out of the red.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said:
“The encouraging results from our holiday mailing season cannot sustain us as we move deeper into the current fiscal year and face continuing financial challenges.”
After announcing the numbers, Donahoe urged congress to pass legislation that would allow USPS to operate more like a business.
“We urgently need Congress to do its part and pass legislation that allows us to better manage our costs and gives us the commercial flexibility needed to operate more like a business does. This will help ensure the future success of the Postal Service and the mailing industry it supports.”
Donohoe noted that in addition to the 4% increase in package deliveries, there was also a 3.6% increase in standard mail volume. The Postmaster General said that the increase was largely due to election mailers.
The Hill reports that USPS lost $15.9 billion during 2012. The majority of that money came defaulting on payments for retirement healthcare.