The U.S. Postal Service booked a net loss of $354 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2014, down sharply from the $1.3 billion in red ink reported for the same period in 2013, according to financial results released Friday.
For the three-month period from October through December, operating revenue totaled $18 billion, up about 2 percent from the preceding year, the results show. The mail carrier also continued to cut expenses, which fell 3 percent to $18.3 billion for the quarter.
Although the volume of first-class mail fell 4.6 percent, shipping and packing revenue soared more than 14 percent, boosted by the growing popularit of on-line shopping, the Postal Service said in a news release. In the release, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe voiced pride in the agency’s achievements but again urged Congress to approve a comprehensive overhaul of USPS operations that he said is needed for a return “to long-term financial stability.”