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Postal Service lost $1.3 billion over quarter

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm •  Published: February 8, 2013

—First class mail declined 4.5 percent.

—Standard mail such as advertising increased 3.6 percent with help from the elections.

—Shipping and package volume increased 4 percent.

—Total mail volume was 43.5 billion pieces compared to 43.6 billion the previous year.

Officials also reported record efficiency gains in the workforce. Seizing on that and the operating profit, Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, criticized the idea of cutting Saturday mail deliveries.

"Today's Postal Service's quarterly financial report shows the folly of making drastic cuts in service as the postmaster general proposed this week," he said in a statement.

Rolando and others want to hold off on service cuts and find other ways to rebalance finances. The Senate last year passed a bill that would have stopped postal officials from eliminating Saturday service for at least two years while trying other aggressive cost cutting.

An independent agency, the post office gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but nonetheless remains subject to congressional control.

"While these losses are an improvement compared to its historic $3.3 billion loss in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, it certainly makes it clear that the Postal Service continues to face financial challenges that can only be alleviated by comprehensive postal reform legislation," said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and chair of the governmental affairs committee.

He has scheduled a committee hearing on the problem for Wednesday.