USPS finances

Letter carrier walks along sidewalk

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal 2018’s third quarter (April 1-June 30). Here are some highlights:

• Revenue. Total revenue was $17.1 billion, up 2.4 percent compared to the same period one year earlier. First-Class Mail revenue declined 2.2 percent compared to a year ago, while Marketing Mail revenue increased 1.6 percent. Revenue from shipping and packages grew 10.2 percent compared to one year earlier.

• Volume. Total mail volume during the third quarter was 35 billion pieces, down about 1 percent compared to the same period last year. USPS delivered 1.46 billion packages, up 7.5 percent from a year ago.

• Net loss. The Postal Service recorded a third-quarter net loss of $1.5 billion, about $651 million less than the net loss from one year earlier. A net loss occurs when an organization’s total expenses exceed its total revenue.

“The root cause of our financial instability is a flawed business model that is imposed by law. We encourage the Congress to engage in a broad public policy discussion and pass postal reform legislation,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.

“We support legislation under consideration in the current Congress which would provide immediate flexibility to the organization, allow the Postal Service to invest in our future, and continue to provide the prompt, reliable, efficient and universal service the public expects.”

Brennan said that in addition to enactment of postal reform legislation, continued aggressive postal management action and regulatory changes, including a less rigid and more responsive pricing system, are required.

The Postal Service’s Aug. 9 news release has more information.

Postal praise

Smiling woman holds package inside Post Office workroom

USPS is continuing to provide “fast and efficient service” despite facing significant challenges, a columnist for a national newsmagazine wrote last week.

The 1,800-word essay from Ryan Cooper, national correspondent for The Week, traces the Postal Service’s history, including its role in uniting rural and urban customers through mail delivery and developing innovations like airmail and railway delivery services.

Cooper also discusses how the postal system provided jobs for women and African-Americans during critical moments in history, calling the Post Office “an engine of gender and racial equality.”

The column, headlined “The miracle of the United States Postal Service,” also outlines the challenges facing USPS and points out that the organization continues to deliver for its customers.

“USPS really does keep the American nation putting one foot in front of the other,” Cooper writes, adding that the organization consistently ranks as the most popular government agency in opinion polls.

The Week’s news site has the full article.

Return flight

Collage of two stamps showing World War I-era planes

The Postal Service will issue this year’s second United States Air Mail stamp Saturday, Aug. 11.

The stamp, printed in red, commemorates an August 1918 flight from College Park, MD, to New York City that became the first step in establishing transcontinental routes for airmail service.

The first stamp, printed in blue and released in the spring, celebrates the first airmail flights performed by Army Signal Corps pilots in May 1918.

The red and blue stamps are each Forever stamps.

Both stamps feature the same image of a Curtiss JN-4H biplane, the model of aircraft used for early airmail flights. USPS printed both stamps using the intaglio method, meaning they’re transferred to paper from an engraved plate.

The new stamp will be dedicated Aug. 11 in College Park. Like the first stamp, the second stamp will be available at Post Offices and usps.com.

News quiz

Letter carrier stands next to blue collection box, drinking bottled water

Here’s Link’s latest “News quiz,” a weekly feature that invites readers to test their knowledge of recent stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. True or false: To protect yourself from heat-related illnesses, you should drink at least 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes.

a) True
b) False

2. Where does USPS operate gopost parcel lockers?

a) California, Illinois, New York and Texas
b) California, New York, New Jersey and Virginia
c) Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania
d) Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC

3. Which of the following stamps won’t be released between Aug. 7 and Aug. 11?

a) The Art of Magic
b) Dragons
c) World War I: Turning the Tide
d) United States Air Mail

4. What’s the name of the West Palm Beach, FL, address management systems technician who was profiled in this week’s “On the job” story?

a) Karin Nolf
b) Joyce Horn
c) Jenny Mileski
d) Emily Walker

5. Fill in the blank: (Blank), an airmail pilot, was killed in the line of duty.

a) Bill Hopson
b) Jack Knight
c) Will Rogers
d) Katherine Stinson

Answers: 1) a. 2) b. 3) c. 4) a. 5) a.

Look for a new quiz next week and share your feedback with Link at uspslink@usps.gov.