The USPS bleeds $1.9B in FQ2

The USPS reports it lost $1.9B in FQ2.

First-class mail volume declined 4.1% during the period while standard mail volume managed a 0.5% gain.

The agency reduced operating expenses by 1.1% Y/Y to $17.9B.

The meltdown at the USPS has some bearing on FedEx (FDX), UPS (UPS), Staples (SPLS), and (STMP).

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Comments (5)
  • King Rat
    , contributor
    Comments (1831) | Send Message
    My old hometown mailman was a great guy and I think most mailmen are. Unfortunately the USPS hires thousands of other people to work in "service".


    My hometown post office got 2 stars on Yelp. I almost think the other reviewers were being generous. I had a package sent from abroad back home that arrived in a week. Nobody was home so they put a "please pick up tomorrow after 10am" card at the door. When the recipient went to pick it up the next day, she was told they had accidentally shipped it back overseas.


    I called the USPS branch, then central USPS offices to try to reroute the package but no luck. The package was stuck at LAX for a couple days but that didn't matter. By law they had to send the package back to sender.


    That would have been insult enough, but the people I spoke with on the phone were not even unapologetic, they were downright hostile and blamed me for their own agency's mistake.


    6 weeks later I got the package back. The contents were damaged. The woman who delivered it (overseas) apologized profusely for the damaged contents, that even though the package was already rattling, their (overseas) post office possibly could have damaged them further.


    I finally got an apology - from the foreign post office that did nothing wrong.


    I have a bottle of champagne ready for when the USPS goes bankrupt.


    In the meantime, perhaps USPS workers could get lessons on service by doing job shadowing overseas.
    9 May 2014, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • subdave
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
    On a minor scale of comparison. I infrequently ship USPS registered insured packages from my local post office. The attendant will apply the manila-nylon tape along the seams of the package before it is processed. A couple of weeks ago, I received the snapping turtle treatment when two female attendants said I had to apply the tape with the help of a small sponge bottle and lovely pink scissors that had been placed in front of me. When I commented that the service person typically handled the chore, they quickly corrected my erroneous thought process, in unison, by saying the customer needs to do the dirty work, just another example of we're the government, don't you know we are ALWAYS RIGHT?! Last week I went there to ship a package and the guy handled it no problem.
    9 May 2014, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • JohnBinTN
    , contributor
    Comments (4441) | Send Message
    Maybe they just got their nails did.
    9 May 2014, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • Joe Lunchbox
    , contributor
    Comments (711) | Send Message
    I live in a rural area with a small post office. The folks there are great. I think two or three people work in the post office and there are several carriers. Small town service can't be beat. These are caring, hard working folks that try to provide customer service. I wish the whole USPS could be like that.


    OTOH, Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Under PAEA, USPS was forced to “prefund its future health care benefit payments to retirees for the next 75 years in an astonishing ten-year time span” — meaning that it had to put aside billions of dollars to pay for the health benefits of employees it hasn’t even hired yet, something “that no other government or private corporation is required to do.”


    If the congress would quit tinkering with the USPS, and let the USPS run itself independently as a business, it might make money instead of having to pay tributes and unnecessary costs off the top.


    Thanks to the government, we have electricity where I live. Thanks to the government, we have mail where I live. Since the government has not been too involved with internet, we still are stuck with dialup internet where I live.


    Government has a purpose and is not entirely evil. I just wish the congress and the executive branch could get together and work for the good of the people instead of special interests.


    Hey congress, leave the post office alone and let them do what they know how to do!


    I'll get off my soapbox now.
    10 May 2014, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • smurf
    , contributor
    Comments (6370) | Send Message
    Hard hearted to say, but I think demographics are everything when it comes to USPS performance. The big city ones are the worst; people "working" there are sullen, lazy, and make it obvious that they don't give a damn. The more rural or small town ones are the best and polar opposites from their big city counterparts. And that's not any kind of bias, just fact.


    One of two things has to happen to the USPS. Either the government should totally federalize it as before, operate it as an agency with cabinet status, and accept the fact that it's going to lose money. Or, it should be totally privatized, modernized and operated like a true business, not some quasi-corporation which really doesn't run like one.


    The latter option would involve massive personnel downsizing and automation, and I don't think the politicians have the stomach for it. More likely is the first scenario, so be prepared.


    When FedEx or UPS screw up, it's big news. With the USPS it's the norm, not the exception.
    10 May 2014, 11:53 PM Reply Like
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