Mixed results

Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett discusses the Postal Service’s latest financial results in a new “Dollars and Change” video.

The fiscal 2018 second-quarter (Jan. 1- March 31) results show revenue was $17.5 billion, up 1.4 percent compared to the same time last year.

However, the increase didn’t offset an uptick in expenses — largely driven by transportation costs, salaries and benefits — that led to a net loss of $1.3 billion.

Overall, the organization continued a multi-year trend of declining letter volume and increasing package volume.

“The gains in our package business are not sufficient to offset ongoing volume losses in our more profitable mail categories,” Corbett says.

The Postal Service is continuing to seek legislation to improve the organization’s finances.

This legislation — in addition to a favorable outcome from the Postal Regulatory Commission’s 10-year price review, continued innovation, and efforts to become more efficient, control costs and improve customers’ experiences — will lead to financial stability, Corbett says.

“We need to do everything within our control to maximize the performance of our business,” he says.

What a coincidence

USPS employee applies a special postmark to mail

The Postal Pulse employee survey that began last month holds special significance for two USPS locations.

The ZIP Codes served by the Post Offices in Coggon, IA (52218), and Bartelso, IL (62218), align with the survey’s start and end dates: May 22 and June 22.

Postmasters at both offices are making the most of a Postal Pulse twist on the “date meets ZIP” phenomenon, which occurs when a date matches a local ZIP Code.

“I tell my employees to be honest and complete the survey. It’s the only way your voice will be heard,” said Coggon Postmaster Cynthia Luchtenburg.

The Coggon Post Office also offered a special postmark May 22, and employees took time to remember Betty McClelland, an employee who died last fall.

“She was the one that actually got the ball rolling on our ZIP Code Day,” Luchtenburg said.

Breese, IL, Postmaster Kathy Albrecht, who oversees the Bartelso Post Office, is also using her community’s ZIP Code Day to encourage employees to complete the survey.

Bartelso will also offer a special postmark June 22 and co-host a community festival with the Breese Post Office, which serves ZIP Code 62230.

“We’re all excited,” Albrecht said.

Need to know

Google Chrome browser on computer screen

Firefox farewell. Google Chrome will replace Mozilla Firefox as the alternate browser on all ACE 3 and USPS Next computers in early July.

When Google Chrome is installed, Mozilla Firefox will be removed and all bookmarks will be deleted. Before that happens, the Postal Service is encouraging employees to back up any saved bookmarks in Firefox before Google Chrome is installed.

Bookmark backup instructions for Firefox are available on Blue.

Employees with questions should email Information Technology Program Manager Casey Netherland.

Flag reminder. Flag Day, one of six days each year that Postal Service facilities are required to fly the POW-MIA flag, is Thursday, June 14.

For more information, refer to the Postal Service’s guidelines for U.S. flag display and maintenance, as well as the requirements for displaying the POW-MIA flag.

Are you Informed? Employees can sign up for Informed Delivery, a free feature that provides users with digital previews of their incoming mail, at informeddelivery.usps.com. Sign-up is voluntary.

Got news for “Need to know”? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.

Facts of ice

Little boy enjoying a popsicle

The Postal Service will release Frozen Treats, its first scratch-and-sniff stamps, next week. To prepare for their arrival, here are five facts about summertime desserts.

1. The Founding Fathers were fans of ice cream. The sweet treat likely first arrived in America with the European colonists. Records show George Washington bought a mechanical ice cream maker for his Mount Vernon estate, and Thomas Jefferson is said to have served ice cream at the White House several times.

2. The Popsicle was invented by an 11-year-old. In 1905, Frank Epperson combined sugary soda powder with water in a cup and accidentally left the wooden stirrer and mixture out overnight. The next morning, he discovered the concoction was a frozen treat. He began selling what he originally called “Epsicles” in the early 1920s and was granted a patent for his creation in 1924.

3. Not all “pops” are Popsicles. While “Popsicle” is often used synonymously with any frozen treat on a wooden stick, the term technically refers to a patented brand of ice pop. Today, ice pops come in a variety of flavors and types, including traditional water-based frozen treats and fruit purees.

4. Frozen yogurt is a relatively new invention. “Froyo” is similar to ice cream but made with yogurt, giving it a tangy flavor. It became a popular treat topped with fruit, syrups or candy bites in the 1980s.

5. Ice pops and ice cream bars are popular around the world. Mexican paletas are made with fresh fruit as water and juice-based treats called “paletas de agua,” or milk- and cream-based treats called “paletas de leche,” while Indian “kulfi” is similar to ice cream and traditionally flavored with cardamom, saffron or pistachio.

Got ideas for future editions of “The list”? Email them to uspslink@usps.gov.