WASHINGTON — Declines in revenue because of the decreased use of U.S. Postal Service (USPS) products due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led the USPS to announce creative ways to connect during the crisis.
“In this time of social distancing, people can feel isolated from even their own family members,” said Jill Waters, a communications specialist with the USPS. “Mailing a picture, letter, thank you or birthday card are just some of the ways to remind loved ones that you care. Nothing replaces the feeling of knowing you are being thought of when receiving a letter or card in the mail.”
Waters said the initiative is being called “The Mail Moment.”
During The Mail Moment, it is not necessary for customers to go to the post office for most postal products and services.
“Stamps can be purchased from the safety of your home,” Waters said. “You don’t even need a computer. Simply ask your mail carrier for a Stamp-by-Mail envelope, complete the order form that is printed on the outside, enclose a check for the amount of the items selected and place it back in the mailbox.”
Digital options are available as well, and the Postal Store is available 24/7 for purchasing stamps, shipping supplies and other products — which include free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes, Waters added.
She said the USPS wants to remind customers that they can access usps.com from a desktop, smartphone or any other mobile device.
Additionally, Waters said, the USPS allows you to digitally preview your mail before it arrives at your home with a free service called “Informed Delivery.”
“It is a way for you to manage mail and packages. Register for Informed Delivery online at www.informeddelivery.usps.com and see your mail before it’s delivered to your mailbox,” she explained.
“As Americans are urged to stay home, the importance of the mail will only grow as people, including those in rural areas and senior citizens will need access to vital communications, essential packages and other necessities,” Waters said.
The USPS reported total revenue of $19.4 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2020, a decrease of $363 million, or 1.8%, compared to the same quarter last year.
“The Postal Service relies on the sale of postal products and services to fund our operations, and these sales are plummeting as a result of the pandemic,” Waters said. “The sudden drop in mail volumes, our most profitable revenue stream, is steep and may never fully recover.”
Due to continuing secular declines in transaction mail, First-Class Mail revenue declined by $168 million, or 2.5%, on a volume decline of 571 million pieces, or 3.8%, and Periodicals revenue declined by $24 million, or 7.7%, compared to the same quarter last year. Marketing Mail revenue declined by $254 million, or 5.4 percent, on a volume decline of 1.7 billion pieces, or 7.9%, compared to the same quarter last year. The majority of volume declines in Marketing Mail were due to high levels of political and election mail in October and November of 2018, that were not replicated during the same period in 2019, the earnings report showed.
Meanwhile, there was some good news. Shipping and packages revenue increased by $146 million, or 2.3%, despite a volume decline of 84 million pieces, or 4.6%, compared to the same quarter last year.
However, USPS is projected to lose $2 billion a month through the coronavirus recession, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Democrats and U.S. Postal Service officials are seeking a $75 billion bailout from taxpayers, but Republicans and the Trump Administration appear to be against it, according to previously published reports.