The Postal Service just announced its financial results from the first quarter of 2009, and they were pretty bleak. Bear in mind â€” the first quarter is usually the Postal Service’s busiest, because it encompasses the holiday season (it runs Oct. 1 – Dec. 31).
Mail volume declined by 5.2 billion pieces, compared to 2008 â€” more than a 9 percent decline. The biggest decline was in Standard Mail, which dropped about 11 percent. That’s probably because of the recession; the housing and financial sectors are big mailers, so when they hit a downturn, so does Standard Mail.
But First-Class MailÂ â€” the Postal Service’s flagship product, and a very profitable oneÂ â€” was also down 1.8 billion pieces, a 7.2 percent decline from last year.
So despite some big cost reductions, like eliminating 27 million work hours, the Postal Service still posted a $384 million loss for the quarter.
And postal officials don’t expect the picture to improve for a while, certainly not this year.