USPS Reports $5.1B Loss

Cost cutting not enough to offset revenue decline.

by staff writer
- Nov 17, 2011

At the end of a fiscal year filled with speculation and office closures, the United States Postal Service reported a $5.1 billion net loss on Tuesday.

Despite reducing operating expenses, the postal service also saw revenue decline. USPS ended the 2011 fiscal year with operating revenue of $65.7 billion compared to $67.1 billion in 2010. Operating expenses were $70.6 billion, down from last year's $75.4 billion total.

Revenue from First Class Mail, the service's biggest and most profitable product, dropped 5.8 percent from $34.2 billion in 2010 to $32.2 billion in 2011, USPS reports. Total mail volume dropped by 3 billion pieces, a 1.7-percent dip compared to 2010.

However, some services saw a rise in revenue. Priority Mail and Express Mail, for instance, increased $530 million in 2011, a 6.3-percent increase compared to 2010. Revenue from Standard Mail increased 2.9 percent, year over year, USPS notes.

"The Postal Service can become profitable again if Congress passes comprehensive legislation to provide us with a more flexible business model, so we can respond better to a changing marketplace," says Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. "To return to profitability we must reduce our annual costs by $20 billion by the end of 2015."

USPS reached its mail volume peak in 2006 when it delivered 213 billion pieces of mail, however, the "volume has continued to decline each year," notes Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett.

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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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