Postal Service loses $1.3 billion in first quarter of fiscal 2013

Paul Sakuma/AP file photo

The U.S. Postal Service on Friday announced a $1.3 billion loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, despite record sales from the holiday period.

USPS actually ran an operational surplus of $100 million for the quarter, which lasted from Oct. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012. But ultimately it accrued a deficit due to congressionally mandated prefunding of retirees’ health benefits, as well as workers’ compensation obligations. The agency had $200 million in an operational surplus in the same period in fiscal 2012, but the total was brought down this year due to employee buyouts.

The first quarter is typically USPS’ best quarter because it includes the December holidays. In a glimmer of hope for the cash-strapped agency, continued growth in package shipping mitigated the ongoing decline of First-Class Mail. The volume of First Class Mail declined 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year, while package volume increased 4 percent.

The Postal Service recently announced a major schedule change to reflect this shift. It plans to reduce mail delivery to five-days, eliminating Saturday delivery for the first time in its history. It will keep six-day delivery for packages, however.

Postal Service officials also said Standard Mail volume increased dramatically, thanks in large part to political mailings. The USPS sales team redoubled its effort in attracting campaigns to use the agency’s services, resulting in higher political revenue than any previous election cycle.

The Postal Service Board of Governors -- including Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe -- continued its call for legislative action to grant the agency more autonomy and to rid it of its prefunding mandate.

Officials said that according to current projections, by the end of the fiscal year the Postal Service will have enough cash on hand for just 2.5 days of operations.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.