WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said there is new “energy, focus and improvement” across the Postal Service, and he touted upcoming electric delivery trucks as making the Postal Service a leader in carbon footprint reduction during an upbeat report to postal governors on Thursday.
The Postal Service made improvements consistent with a 10-year plan in the latest quarter that included the busy holiday period and election ballots, DeJoy told the governors.
“This is a new Postal Service recognizing it’s a new day in a new economy, and we’re leading the way to improve this cherished institution,” he said.
Customers will notice a visible change when new delivery trucks start hitting the mail routes.
The post office said it is spending nearly $10 billion to electrify its aging fleet, including installing a modern charging infrastructure at postal facilities and ensuring 66,000 of 106,000 new delivery trucks will be battery powered. The spending includes $3 billion provided by Congress.
The upbeat mood accompanied positive financial news, with revenue growing even though volume was down across all categories, some of which reflected a return to normalcy after the pandemic.
The Postal Service’s operating revenue was $21.5 billion for the quarter, an increase of $206 million, even though volume declined by 1.7 billion pieces, or 4.8%, compared with the same period last year.
All told, the Postal Service reported a net loss of $1 billion for the first quarter. But that was a $519 million improvement over the $1.5 billion net loss during the same period last year.
It wasn’t all good news. Governor Ronald Stroman expressed concern about a “dramatic escalation” of mail theft and robberies of letter carriers, saying they are “now almost a daily occurrence.” The Postal Service is hardening mail receptacles and mail vehicle locks and working with the law enforcement to reverse the trend, he said.
“I speak for everyone on the board and saying that we have no higher priority than the safety and well-being of the women and men of the United States Postal Service and protecting our customers,” he said.