USPS Doing Better Than Projected

Volumes, Revenue Higher For First Class Mail

In 2011 the Postal Service released projections on future mail volumes and revenue. Issued under the administration of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, the projections went to year 2020. It was part of the effort to show the dire future of the Postal Service that necessitated postal reform legislation.

The projections showed a troubled picture of the USPS amid declining mail volumes, internet competition, and the recession.

They turned out to be wrong.

Five years later, the projections not only did not come true but the actual volumes and revenue paint a more upbeat picture of the Post’s future.

Here are the volume projections that were issued in 2011:


Here are the actual volume for 2013, 2014, and 2015:


The projected volumes of 2013 for First-Class Mail were 64 billion versus 65.75 billion actual; for 2014 the projected volumes were 60 billion versus 63.84 billion actual; and for 2015, the projected volumes were 57 billion versus 62.42 billion.

In each of the projected years, First Class Mail outperformed.

The projected volumes for 2013 for Standard Mail were 82 billion versus 80.80 billion; for 2014 the projected volumes were 83 billion versus 80.31 billion actual; and for 2015, the projected volumes were 85 billion versus 80.03 billion.

In each of the projected years, Standard Mail underperformed.

Here are the revenue projections that were issued in 2011:


Here are the actual revenue numbers for 2013, 2014, 2015:


The projections anticipated total revenue would decline. In fact, revenue stabilized in 2013 nd 2014 and actually grew in 2015.

Will this trend continue to 2020? It seems likely, given that the 2020 projected First Class Mail volume would be nearly half of what it is today.

Let’s see how 2016 performs, when the numbers are released in November, before we jump to conclusions.

But the facts right now are that the Postal Service is doing much better than it was projected to do five years ago.




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