The U.S. Postal Service is warning of “dire consequences” from the coronavirus pandemic and asking for substantial funding from the federal government. It posted a second quarter loss of $4.5 billion on Friday, May 8, more than double what it lost the same period last year.
“At a time when America needs the Postal Service more than ever, the pandemic is starting to have a significant effect on our business with mail volumes plummeting as a result of the pandemic,” said CEO Megan Brennan.
In a press release, the USPS explained that the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting the company in late March, but has only worsened since then. The USPS anticipates the virus will increase the Postal Service’s net operating loss over the next 18 months.
Marketing mail volumes fell 3.4% on the quarter as businesses pulled back on advertising.
The 2020 U.S. Census was a boon this year to the Postal Service, causing First-Class Mail revenue to increase by 1.4%. Without the Census, the USPS said that “First-Class Mail revenue and volume would have each declined.”
“While we continue to conserve capital and reduce expenses in areas where volumes are declining, our ability to continue to serve the nation will require substantial funding from the federal government or other sources,” said USPS CFO Joseph Corbett.
More than 600,000 postal workers have continued working through the pandemic. USPS CEO Brennan applauded their “heroism and commitment.”