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USPS finances

Letter carrier walking along sidewalk

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal 2019’s third quarter (April 1-June 30). Here are some highlights:

• Revenue. Total revenue was $17.1 billion, essentially flat from the same period one year earlier. First-Class Mail revenue declined 1.6 percent, while Marketing Mail revenue declined 3 percent and Periodicals revenue declined 11.2 percent. Shipping and packages revenue increased 4.8 percent.

• Volume. Total volume was 33.7 billion pieces, down 4.2 percent from the same period one year earlier. First-Class Mail volume declined 2.7 percent, Marketing Mail volume declined 4.7 percent, Periodicals volume declined 12.8 percent, and shipping and packages volume declined 3.2 percent.

• Expenses. Total operating expenses were $19.3 billion, up 4.3 percent from the same period one year earlier. Excluding costs resulting from factors that are outside of management’s control, expenses increased by 1.2 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

• Net loss. The net loss for the quarter totaled almost $2.3 billion, an increase of $767 million, compared to a net loss of almost $1.5 billion for the same quarter last year.

“We continue to face imbalances in our business model that must be fixed through legislative and regulatory change. As we work to effectuate that change, we continue our ongoing aggressive management actions and remain focused on delivering for the American public and meeting their evolving business and residential needs,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “We are actively adapting to changes throughout the mailing and shipping landscape, providing customers with new solutions that add value for their investment, improve the service we provide and drive internal efficiencies.”

Brennan added that the Postal Service’s largely fixed and mandated costs continue to rise at a faster rate than the revenues that can be generated within a constrained business model, which is ill-suited to ensure the long-term sustainability of USPS.

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

Easy rider

Woman stands near motorcycle in front of Post Office.

Latiesha Suggs believes being positive helps her work relationships at the Omaha, NE, Processing and Distribution Center.

“I say ‘Hi’ to everyone I see, even if I don’t know them,” she said. “It puts a smile on their faces.”

Suggs, a mail handler who joined the Postal Service in 1995, strives to meet job expectations, and she encourages her colleagues to do the same.

“We understand what our goals and expectations are on every shift. We know what our priorities are,” she said.

Distribution Operations Supervisor Michelle Hargis appreciates Suggs’s enthusiasm and willingness to help communicate goals to the facility’s distribution clerks and mail handlers.

“She’s my right hand,” Hargis said.

The Postal Service encourages managers and supervisors to foster friendly work environments, part of the organization’s core strategy to engage, equip and empower employees. Research shows that employees who feel engaged deliver better customer service, have better attendance rates and work safer.

To get better acquainted with her colleagues, Suggs likes to talk about her hobbies, including her love of basketball and riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Hargis said this kind of positive communication helps develop a family-like environment at the facility.

“We all just care about each other,” she said.

Suggs, who raised two daughters as a single mother, said she can always count on her work family for support and encouragement.

“The Postal Service has allowed me to provide for my family,” she said. “That makes me want to work hard and do a great job.”

After Earth

Highlights from the 1969: First Moon Landing stamp dedication ceremony are featured in a new Postal Service video.

The stamp celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which marked the first time humankind ventured beyond the Earth to step foot on another celestial object.

“That historical moment — that sweep of history — is what we are celebrating today,” Russell “Rusty” Schweickart, a retired NASA astronaut and scientist, says in the video.

The 1-minute, 30-second segment also includes remarks from Tom Marshall, the Postal Service’s general counsel, and Kelvin Manning, a John F. Kennedy Space Center associate director.

The ceremony took place July 19 at the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, FL.