February 7, 2014 12:00 PM, EST
Postal Service Narrows Loss in 1Q
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

The U.S. Postal Service lost less money in its first fiscal quarter than the same period last year as it cut costs and increased revenue from its shipping and packing business.

USPS had a $354 million loss in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a $1.3 billion loss in the same period a year prior, the agency said Feb. 7.

Total mail volume fell to 42 billion pieces, down from 43.5 billion last year. Revenue from first-class mail, which is the bulk of USPS’s income, fell 2.8% to $209 million.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe used the earnings report to urge lawmakers to reform the laws that govern the Postal Service, including allowing it to end Saturday delivery.

“We cannot return the organization to long-term financial stability without passage of comprehensive postal reform legislation,” Donahue said in a statement.