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USPS revenues: Falling faster than expected

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I spent some time this afternoon analyzing the Postal Service’s year-to-date business, and the numbers aren’t good, to say the least. Mail revenue and volume are dropping far faster than the Postal Service expected at the beginning of the fiscal year — so postal officials could find themselves hundreds of million of dollars short of their projected $76.2 billion revenue this year.

Data and graphs are after the jump. But first I should note that these numbers are a little imprecise, because they’re based on data from the first two quarters of 2009 (the third quarter ended on June 30, but data isn’t available yet). So I’m taking half a year’s data and extrapolating it into a full year.

If anything, though, these numbers are optimistic. That’s because the Postal Service always does its best business of the year in the first quarter (the holiday season); that means volume and revenue are higher in the first half of the year.

Now, here are the data, shown as percentage changes from FY2008. So, for example, the Postal Service expected First-Class Mail revenue to drop by 1.3% this year; it has actually dropped by 6.4%.

The blue bars are the Postal Service’s projected changes; the red lines are the actual year-to-date changes.

Revenues

Volume

Here’s the data in table form:

Service Category Actual Revenue Projected Revenue Actual Volume Projected Volume
First-Class Mail -6.4 -1.3 -8.5 -2.8
Standard Mail -14.8 -2.2 -15.1 -5.7
Periodicals -8.9 -1.5 -5.6 -5.9
Package Services -6.1 2.8 -11.4 -2.8

Comments

  1. jademarine Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    i manage a small branch office and while mail volume is down, much responsibility for lack of profitability lies at the feet of incompetent and ineffective management at the supervisor and post master level. Fewer people are expected to do more and service to the public suffers. If “sales” are down the post office response is to cut the “sales force”. If you want to build your business you need to take care of the customer that wants to purchase your service. Provide fast, efficient service to the customer in line and they will become a repeat customer. Make them wait and they will look for an alternative way of communicating or shipping.

  2. PhiCrappaZappa Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    jademarine:
    You obviously haven’t been with the PO for very long.There are three basic rules of thumb:
    1. Our goal is mediocrity – and we achieve it every day.
    2. Promotions occur horizontally.
    3. A pissed off employee is a productive employee.

  3. jademarine Says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    PhiCrappaZappa
    only 26 years with po
    guess not long enough to understand incompetance and the “good old boy” take care of your buddy way of doing business
    po retirement with no incentive
    when mo one bought into it they switched to abuse employees untill they get disgusted and quit
    i am leaving this sinking ship to the fools that are stearing her onto the rocks

  4. blockpusher Says:
    July 17th, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I am a letter carrier of 26 years. I also mail alot of packages, and believe me, when I am waiting in a long line, where there are slots for 4 clerks, but only 2 are working, I am the most pissed off person in line, because I know that management doesn’t give a crap about how long the customer has to wait, the only thing that counts is saving a few dollars. I love it when the Postmaster walks by to get to his office. He doesn’t even LOOK at the waiting area….. They are supposed to have a guideline of 5 minutes for a customer to have to wait to be served (WTIL) yeah, right………….. We use a “take a number” system, and sometimes the damn number doesn’t even flip in 5 minutes. management types should have to wait in line to mail something as part of their job. Then they might get a clue…………….

  5. ashamed Says:
    July 20th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    blockpusher – you have to be working at the same post office I do! – another day of h—, I sure wish someone who isn’t afraid of looking good by cutting their retail staffing, would come and tell me their meaning of CUSTOMER SERVICE! – I hope I see the postal service privatized in my lifetime, way too many chiefs and not enough indians!

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