The Postal Service’s ongoing financial losses widened in the first quarter in which it reported a net loss of $1.5 billion, which is an approximately 178% higher loss than the same quarter last year in which it only lost $540 million.
That is the bad news. On the bright side, total revenue was $19.7 billion, up 2.9% over the same quarter last year. Marketing mail revenue increased by $218 million, and revenues from shipping and packages increased by $516 million.
Increased costs helped to drive the Postal Service’s quarterly losses, namely increases in compensation and benefits of $657 million, due to additional hours and contractual wage adjustments, and transportation costs of $207 million, due to higher fuel costs and highway contract rate inflation.
“Overall volumes increased this quarter driven primarily by growth in Marketing Mail and our package business, which resulted in total revenue growth of $553 million,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “This growth was offset by increased work hours and related salaries and benefits, increases in transportation costs due to these higher volumes and the continued focus on meeting customers’ needs.”