by Cathy Marsh with contributions from Carol Schreiber
On August 9, 2012, the Federal Times reported that, "For the first nine months of 2012, the Postal Service has lost a total of $11.6 billion, compared with $5.7 billion at the same point last year."
"For the third quarter, total mail volume fell to 38.5 billion pieces, down 3.6 percent from a year ago. The decline was steeper for first-class mail — the Postal Service’s most profitable line — which dropped 4.4 percent."
A number of things have contributed to the decrease in mail volume. An increasing number of people are using online banking services to pay bills and to receive bank statements. Instead of sending letters, more people are using email, Facebook, and other social sites to stay in touch with friends and family. These venues have contributed to the decrease in mail volume.
According to Peter Nowacki, a USPS representative, the Postal Service is "losing $25 million a day, nationwide. We're looking at all aspects of our operations and ways to save money."
In an effort to reduce operating costs, the Postal Service is beginning implementation of its Post Office Structure Plan, referred to as the POST Plan, which would cut back hours at post offices in rural areas throughout the country.
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