U.S. Postal Service: Dire Financial Outlook and Changing Mail Use Require Network Restructuring

GAO-11-759T Published: Jun 15, 2011. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2011.
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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) recently reported that its financial results for the first half of this fiscal year--a net loss of $2.6 billion--are worse than projected. USPS expects continued financial challenges as mail volume continues to decline. Most notable is the decline of First-Class Mail (its most profitable mail) by over 25 billion pieces, or about 25 percent, over the past decade. GAO has reported on proposals to revise USPS pension and retiree health obligations, but such actions alone will not be sufficient to address the accelerating volume decline and changing use of the mail. This statement discusses (1) why it is important to restructure USPS's networks and (2) what actions are needed to facilitate additional progress. This statement is based primarily on past and ongoing GAO work.

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