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Postal Service parcel volumes fell in Q2

The U.S. Postal Service late Thursday reported fiscal 2022 second-quarter results that included a decline in shipping and parcel volume as the pandemic-driven surge in online ordering continued to recede.

Shipping and parcel revenue came in at $7.87 billion, slightly above the same period a year ago. Volumes fell to 1.77 billion pieces from 1.866 billion due to the impact of recently implemented shipping rate increases, the Postal Service said. Volumes remain above pre-pandemic levels, the agency said. 

The Postal Service reported an adjusted loss of $1.7 billion in the quarter, about the same as a year ago. The adjusted loss excludes the impact of noncash workers’ compensation adjustments, the agency said. The agency’s operating revenue rose by $896 million to nearly $19.8 billion. First-class mail revenue rose by about $300 million to $6.27 billion, while volume fell slightly to 12.98 billion pieces, the Postal Service said.

As of Sunday, the Postal Service began slowing some of its deliveries of first-class parcels in an effort to reduce airfreight costs and to increase its underutilized surface transportation network. Nearly one-third of all first-class parcels will be delivered one to two days later than the current two- to three-day delivery windows, the Postal Service said.

Effective next quarter, the Postal Service’s quarterly results will include the effects of postal reform legislation signed into law on April 6. Among other things, the law ends the requirement that the Postal Service annually prepay future retiree health benefits. The law also cancels all delinquent pre-funding obligations. Future retirees are required to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, a shift that is expected to save the Postal Service about $22.6 billion in premium payments over the next 10 years.

The pre-funding obligation, unique among all public sector agencies as well as private industry, had cost the agency about $5.5 billion a year. The Postal Service has defaulted on billions of dollars of scheduled payments since 2012.