2014 USPS Fiscal Year Recap: Services Increase, Revenue Decreases

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Shipping and Package Services Revenue increased 9.1 percent in 2014 while First-Class and Standard Mail volume decreased by 2.2 billion and 495 million pieces, respectively.

While Shipping and Package Services Revenue increased 9.1 percent this year, the USPS indicated that “legislative burdens and constraints” contributed to an overall 5.5 billion dollar loss in 2014.

In a press release issued today, the USPS reported a $569 million increase in operating revenue from Shipping and Package Services.  Additionally, the organization indicated that increased pricing introduced last January contributed positive revenue.

As a reminder, overall debt loss was $5 billion in 2013.  In 2014, the USPS was affected by many of the same legislative fees that contributed to its 2013 losses.  (Please note: Fiscal year 2014 was October 1st, 2013 to September 20th, 2014.)

“Excluding a one-time adjustment to revenue of $1.3 billion in 2013 resulting from a change in accounting estimate for Forever stamps, 2014 operating revenue would have increased by $1.9 billion,” today’s press release stated.

The required Health Benefit Fund contribution of $5.7 billion was another fee that significantly contributed to 2014 losses.  The USPS also added that $1.2 billion was spent in “non-cash worker’s compensation expense, consisting of $485 million released to changes in interest rates and $697 million of other non-cash worker’s compensation expenses.”

On Monday, the USPS announced a cyber-security breach that compromised postal data; they do not believe fiscal data was compromised or altered in this breach.

Information released today also compared several changes from 2013 to 2014:

  • Total mail volume was 155.4 billion pieces compared to 158.2 billion pieces a year ago, a decrease of 2.8 billion pieces or 1.8 percent.
  • First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volume decreased by 2.2 billion and 495 million pieces, respectively.
  • Operating expenses were $73.2 billion in 2014 compared to $72.1 billion in 2013

An adjustment to required delivery frequency, the authority to expand products and services, integration of the Health Benefit Program to Medicare, and reforming the workers compensation program are several legislative requirements the USPS stated are key to increasing and maintaining positive revenue.

More information is available on the USPS website.  More information on the data breach can be seen here.

USPS to Close Approximately 82 Facilities Beginning January 2015

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The USPS plans to close 82 facilities starting in 2015. This is phase two of their consolidation plan. 141 facilities were closed between 2012 and 2013.

A letter to customers on the USPS website indicates that more changes are coming to the USPS in January.  Considered a continued rationalization of the network, the USPS plans to close approximately 82 facilities next year.  141 processing facilities were closed between 2012 and 2013.

“We believe strongly that this phase of network rationalization will establish the low-cost, technology-centric delivery platform necessary to serve the mailing and shipping industry for decades to come,” the letter states.

The letter also states that post offices closed between 2012 and 2013 were reported to save the organization $865 million annually and “required no employee layoffs.”  The additional closures starting in January are expected to save an additional $750 million annually and $3.5 billion in the next five years.

For customers concerned if this consolidation will affect their routes or shipping, a list of expected closures is available on the USPS website.  In a FAQ available online, the USPS adds that “the consolidation will not impact the delivery process.”

15,000 USPS employees will be impacted by the consolidation.  A six month notice will be provided to customers impacted by the closures.  The FAQ also indicated how specific closures were chosen.

“Criteria include expected savings, service, transportation and logistics networks, and capacity within the processing plant, amount of required capacity (mail volumes), using the least amount of equipment and maximizing capacity,” the website states.

This phase of consolidation is expected to be completed by the fall mailing season.  More information is available on the USPS website.

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: April 14, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

Thailand:  The Songkran Festival taking place between April 13-16th. Mail items arriving during this period will be held until when the processing and delivery of mail resumes.

Greece:  The Confederation of Greek workers and the Association of the Civil Servants held a 24 hour strike for on April 9th. This affected both inbound and outbound mail services.

Argentina: Customs officials and brokers in Argentina called a one day strike April 10th. This was a nationwide strike and customs did not operate for one day, as a result delays to mail services were probable.

Indonesia:  Indonesia Post informs that the country’s legislative elections took place on April 9th.  No postal operations took place.

Chile:  April 1st an 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile, causing significant damage. Mail delays are probable.

USPS to Raise Prices in 2014

Salvation Army Band

Salvation Army Band (Photo credit: danperry.com)

As regular as the traditions of Black Friday and the Thanksgiving Macy’s parade, the USPS seems to have its own holiday season ritual – the annual announcement of price increases.  In a press release posted on the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) website on November 21, the commission confirmed that it has approved a USPS request to increase prices for 2014. The press release states that commission made the determination that “the rates proposed by the Postal Service are consistent with the law, provided that the Postal Service does not implement Full Service IMb requirements concurrently with the proposed increased rates.” The commission clarified this statement by explaining that the preparation required to assign IMbs (Intelligent Mail Barcodes) to unique pieces of mail, bundles, and pallets, would be a classification change. The impact would need to be included in USPS’s calculations for rate changes.  Implementing the proposed rate adjustments in addition to the Full Service IMb requirements “would result in increases in First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Periodicals that exceed the statutory Consumer Price Index price cap, currently at 1.696 percent.”

Price changes go into effect on January 26, 2014.

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: December 3, 2013

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

Venezuela: Dec 2nd extensive power outages occurred across Venezuela. Multiple cities, including Caracas, lost power, apparently not uncommon but will cause transportation and mail delays.

Philippines: Since Nov 8th, Typhoon Haiyan has caused extensive damage to infrastructure in parts of the Philippines. The worst hit areas are Samar, Leyte and Northern Cebu provinces. These areas have experienced severe storm damage and postal services in the area have been badly affected.

Finland: Since Nov 25th, Itella Post delays in postal deliveries in Finland, due to industrial relations with the local union.

Portugal:  Nov 29th & 30th, The main trade unions in Portugal enacted a 24 hour strike.

Chile: Nov 25th thru Dec 3rd, work at the national customs administration stopped processing airmail.

France:  Bank Holidays on Nov 1st and Nov 11th may cause mail delays.

Brunei, South Korea, Philippines, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia:  Airline Cargo Hub handler problems started on Oct 10th this has led to delays to cargo and mail passing through that hubs for several weeks.  The situation has cleared up, however, expect delays to clear the back-log. All mail and parcels will clear by early December.

2013-2014 Postal Holidays

50537499_a0a978e670_mThere will no postal service on Monday, November 11, 2013 due to the observance of Veteran’s Day.

Please see below for the remaining 2013 postal holidays as well as the 2014 holidays.

Allen Press will be closed November 28-29, 2013 and December 24-25, 2013.

2013

Monday, November 11 Veteran’s Day
Thursday, November 28 Thanksgiving Day
Wednesday, December 25 Christmas Day

2014

Wednesday, January 1 New Year’s Day
Monday, January 20 Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, February 17 Washington’s Birthday
Monday, May 26 Memorial Day
Friday, July 4 Independence Day
Monday, September 1 Labor Day
Monday, October 13 Columbus Day
Tuesday, November 11 Veterans Day
Thursday, November 27 Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, December 25 Christmas Day

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: October 22, 2013

World Map_standing imageHere are the latest global hot spots that may delay mail delivery as reported by International Delivery Solutions.

Japan: Oct 16th Typhoon Wipha hit Tokyo, causing extensive air and ground transportation disruptions in the city.

Italy:  Oct 16-18th, Industrial strikes planned at the airport hubs affecting inbound and outbound mail and processing sites.

Philippines: A strong earthquake struck near Carmen, Philippines, on Oct 15th affecting infrastructure and transportation.

China:  Oct 1st through the 7th, National holidays in China meant that mail offices in the country were closed and operations limited. Normal services resumed on 8th October but some delays may be experienced.
 
Thailand: Since Oct 3rd and ongoing, areas in central Thailand are currently affected by heavy rain and flooding. Only services in the following post code areas have returned to normal: 17xxx, 35xxx and 65xxx. Finally, the following postcode areas are currently affected by the flooding which may cause delays in mail operations and deliveries: 10560, 18xxx, 20xxx-21xxx, 27xxx, 30xxx, 40xxx, 65xxx, 67xxx and 71xxx. Some post offices in the affected areas are unable to open as usual and mail operations and delivery of all postal items are subject to delays.
 
El Salvador:  Postal workers participated in industrial action Oct 4th through the 6th.
 
Seychelles:  Mail routes have been delayed as supplier transportation to the area is difficult to find. An alternative routing has been found for current mail that will also carry the backlogs.

United Arab Emirates:  The UAE Government has moved the start date of the Eid al-Adha holiday from Monday, October 14th to Sunday, October 13th. The holiday will end on Thursday, October 17th as scheduled.

Venezuela:  Postal operations have resumed as of October 15th, after a strike delay.