News Byte: Postal Board Asks for Reform for Christmas

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Corbett: Only nine days of cash on hand
Corbett: Only nine days of cash on hand

Postal Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett closed today's monthly meeting by asking all stakeholders in the future health of the Postal Service to tell Congress not to give them a lump of coal this Christmas. “After five years,” he says, “we do need some comprehensive legislative reform.”

Postal Service CFO Joe Corbett reported that USPS would end 2013 with a $5 billion loss and liabilities exceeding assets by $40 billion. While he lauded the Postal Service's first revenue increase since 2008 and new business building initiatives such as the Sunday delivery deal finalized with Amazon this week, he said all the agency's best efforts fall short.

Standard mail increased 3% on the year and the package business surged by 8%. Overall mail volume decreased by two billion pieces.

“This growth cannot make up for the decline in First Class mail or fill the $49 billion hole we're in,” said Corbett in detailing 2013 financial results. “Without postal reform we will continue to sustain large losses.”

Corbett noted that USPS currently has nine days of operating cash on hand, compared to five times that much held by competitors such as UPS and Federal Express. “And they're making money while we're losing it,” he added.

The board estimated that its cash position would improve to 16 to 17 days of operating expenses if the Postal Regulatory Commission grants its exigent rate increase.

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