The Postal Service has begun its search for a new postmaster general at a time when the agency just marked its 13th straight year of net financial losses.
The agency on Thursday reported an $8.8 billion net loss in FY 2019, an increase of nearly $5 billion from the previous year, and urged Congress and regulators to alleviate some of its systemic business challenges.
“Our cost to fulfill our universal service obligation and to fund our mandated benefits programs continue to rise at a faster rate than the revenues we are able to generate in a very competitive market,” outgoing Postmaster General Megan Brennan said at a meeting of the Board of Governors.
Operating revenue increased by $514 million, despite a volume decline of 3.8 billion pieces of mail and packages. While growth in the booming e-commerce package market has helped USPS offset continued declines in first-class mail volume, Brennan said growth in its package business has slowed because of increased competition.
USPS saw less than a 1% growth in volume, but a 6.1% increase in shipping and package revenue this year. In 2018, the mail agency reported more than a 10% percent increase in package revenue amid concerns about the sustainability of that double-digit growth.