Nov 8 The U.S. Postal Service expects package
deliveries during the holiday season to jump 20 percent from
last year, as Americans do more shopping online.
The Postal Service said it forecast delivering 365 million
packages, a 20 percent increase over 2011.
The bump could temporarily help the USPS make up for
tumbling mail volumes that have contributed to billion-dollar
losses in recent years as Americans increasingly communicate
The Postal Service expects Monday, Dec. 17 to be the busiest
mailing day for cards and packages during the holidays. The
agency expects more than 655 million pieces of mail will be sent
that day, compared with 538 million on a normal day.
In total, the agency said it expects to deliver about 18
billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and New
Major private-sector U.S. shippers also say online shopping
will drive increases in holiday package volumes this year, but
they have been less bullish than the Postal Service.
United Parcel Service Inc forecast a 10 percent
increase over 2011, and FedEx Corp expects a 13 percent
boost over last year.
Despite the Postal Service's optimism about the next two
months, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Congress still
needs to green-light a number of cost-cutting measures to
staunch the losses.
The Postal Service, which relies on the sale of stamps and
other products instead of taxpayer funding, has defaulted twice
in recent months on required payments for future retiree
benefits. The agency hit its $15 billion borrowing limit earlier
USPS officials want to move to five-day mail delivery, stop
making the payments for future benefits, and create a USPS
health plan rather than placing employees in federal government
The changes would require permission from Congress.
Lawmakers have not been able to agree on legislation to overhaul
the Postal Service's business model.
Some members of Congress want to take up postal legislation
during the post-election "lame duck" session. But taxes and
government spending issues could require their full attention.
Donahoe told reporters on Thursday that postal officials
have been communicating with congressional staff but that he had
not seen signs that Congress would finish postal legislation
during the lame duck session.
"Congress knows that they have to deal with it," Donahoe
said. "I think that they will take some positive steps. No
guarantees, but we're hopeful." i