Package power

Madison, WI, Letter Carrier Jim Haasch scans a package before delivering it earlier this year. Households received 3.8 billion packages during fiscal 2015, new research shows.

Package volumes grew during the past two years as more households shopped online, new research shows.

Households received 3.8 billion packages and sent 576 million between Oct. 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2015, according to the latest edition of the Postal Service’s annual household diary study.

The number of packages received was up 25 percent from two years earlier, while the number sent was up 40 percent.

Households that shopped online received five times more packages and sent four times more packages than those that didn’t, the study noted.

Most packages were sent by Priority Mail (56 percent), while Parcel Select was the largest category for packages received (48 percent).

Online options, however, continued to erode First-Class Mail volumes.

From 2005-2015, First-Class Mail volumes sent and received fell 34 percent.

During the same period, personal correspondence mail fell 46 percent, and only 31 percent of household payments were made by mail, down from 67 percent in 2005.

“Because of a strong consumer preference for physical records, so far only a relatively small percentage of bills and statements have been converted to an electronic format,” said USPS Financial Economist John Mazzone.

The Postal Regulatory Commission’s site has the full report.