Washington, D.C.—The U.S. Postal Service posted
a $139 million loss for October, the first month of its 2012 fiscal year. That compares with a net profit of $283 million in the same period last year.
Total mail volume for the month was off by 10.1% year-over-year, with revenue down 5% to $5.7 billion as users accelerated their use of alternate digital communication channels. Standard mail, used most often by commercial mailers and which had been growing steadily, fell in volume by 12.4% in October versus the year-ago period, to 8 billion pieces, with revenue off 10.2%, to $1.7 billion for the month.
The lone bright spot was shipping, with volume rising 34.6% to 166.5 million pieces for the month, and revenue up 17.0%, to $863.2 million.