The Postal Service is a government agency that operates like a business.
The organization provides a vital delivery service that fosters commerce, serves every address in the United States and binds the nation.
USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
The Postal Service has three major lines of business: First-Class Mail, Marketing Mail and packages.
During fiscal year 2019 (Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019), USPS delivered 142.6 billion pieces of mail to 160 million delivery addresses and operated more than 31,000 Post Offices.
The organization is governed by the independent USPS Board of Governors, which acts much like a board of directors, conducting long-range planning and setting strategic policies, among other duties.
The Postal Service has more than 630,000 employees, making it the second-largest civilian employer in the United States.
During fiscal year 2019, USPS generated $71.1 billion in total operating revenue and $79.9 billion in total operating expenses, which left the organization with a net loss of $8.8 billion.
Several factors contributed to the net loss, including declining First-Class Mail volume and increased fuel and transportation costs.
USPS is working to manage the business, including growing its packages and shipping service, upgrading equipment and boosting the value of mail.
Long-term financial stability requires postal reform legislation; a favorable outcome from a 10-year pricing review by the Postal Regulatory Commission, an agency that regulates postal products and services; action to shore up USPS finances following the coronavirus pandemic; and continued efforts by the Postal Service to innovate and become more efficient.