This week the Postal Service announced plans to move into one of the few remaining frontiers of package delivery – Sundays.
Under a new negotiated service agreement approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, e-tailing giant Amazon.com will use the Postal Service’s Parcel Select service to ship everything from clothing to garden tools on Sundays. The program is running now in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, with a rollout planned in 2014 in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix, to name a few.
Sunday delivery isn’t exactly new. The Postal Service delivers 7 days a week using the premium Priority Mail Express product. So, what’s really new is the low cost of the service – making it a solid option for consumers.
Utilizing the Postal Service’s ubiquitous delivery network Amazon.com is able to keep its costs down and, for example, give its Amazon Prime members who get unlimited, free two-day shipping the flexibility to get packages on Sundays.
The Postal Service faces stiff competition as it seeks to grow its package business and take advantage of the explosion in e-commerce. But it has seen significant gains in its parcel sector through innovations such as flat rate Priority Mail packaging.
With this latest move, the Postal Service is looking to strengthen its market position in business-to-consumer shipping and to further distinguish itself from its main competitors – FedEx and UPS.
What do you think of the Amazon.com partnership? Do you foresee operational, staffing or other problems for the Postal Service as it ramps up for Sunday deliveries? Will this be a net financial win for the Postal Service and its customers?