USPS continues to sustain losses, according to report
The postal service suffered a $3.3 billion net loss during October, November and December 2011, even with a boost in usage during the holidays, USPS spokesman Victor Dubina said. Total mail parcels sent also went down about 6 percent from the same time period last year, he said.
Dubina said one of the biggest declines was in first-class mail, the type of mail usually used by average consumers looking to send packages or cards to family and friends.
Although numbers go up during holiday seasons in which greeting cards are popular — such as winter holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day — Dubina said the postal service never expects to see the numbers rebound to what they once were.
“We’ve seen tremendous decline. … There’s fewer cards being mailed,” Dubina said. “I don’t see that coming back to the levels we’ve seen.”
An increase in technology and usage of online mail services and social networks are a major factor in these trends, Dubina said.
The USPS’ financial woes are expected to continue until major changes are implemented in the USPS system, with possibilities such as a 5-day delivery week, cuts in under-utilized postal service locations across the country and changes to its health care system, Dubina said.
During the Valentine’s Day rush and other holiday seasons, many MSU students don’t send cards or packages through the USPS system, media information sophomore Juliette Fennell said.
“That sucks, because that’s how it all started,” Fennell said. “There wouldn’t be email without mail.”
Liberal studies sophomore Hayley Mathie said if she has cards, gifts or messages to give out, she prefers to do so in person.
If that’s not an option, Mathie said she’d likely choose other means of getting her information from point A to point B — although she said the idea of a suffering national mail system is a sad one.
“I think it’s sad, but at the same time, UPS is a lot more efficient,” Mathie said. “I’m not entirely devastated.”
Staff writer Katie Harrington contributed to this report.