Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Amazon.com and USPS to team for Sunday order delivery

Amazon.com announced on Monday -- really, late Sunday PT via emails to Amazon.com customers -- that Sunday delivery is now possible for Amazon Prime members. The partnership, with the U.S. Postal Service, not a package delivery service such as UPS, Fedex, or OnTrac, means that Amazon Prime members will now have the option of receiving their packages seven days a week.

For now, only the nation's largest two cities -- Los Angeles and New York City -- have access to the new service. However, the company said that it plans to expand the service to "a large portion of the U.S. population in 2014 including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix," as examples.

ave Clark, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide operations and customer service said:
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night. We’re excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day and we know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience they will experience as part of this new service.
Not every item will be eligible for Sunday delivery. It would have to be an Amazon Prime-eligible product. Still, Amazon.com says there are millions of such items available.

The delivery deal is a boon for both Amazon.com and the USPS. While it gives the huge Internet retailer still another advantage over its rivals, the USPS could use the revenue. The USPS lost $16 billion in 2012, but it's said that the shortfall is largely due to the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) which mandates that the Postal Service fully fund retiree health benefits for 75 years, and within a 10-year period.

This is the only time Congress has demanded this sort of pre-loaded coverage, and many on the left side of the aisle believe that the idea is to kill the USPS so that private firms can take over.

That being said, the new deal -- which is definitely going to expand -- will help bolster the USPS coffers. Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Postal Service, added:
As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday.

With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides.
Sunday delivery will begin on Nov. 17 in L.A. and NYC. According to the company, Prime members will not have to select Sunday delivery as long as it fits within the two-day window that Prime members have for free delivery.

Amazon.com will transfer packages from its warehouses to Postal Service locations on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. The USPS will then deliver them to customers.

It's unclear if Amazon.com will allow Prime members to pay extra to have Sunday delivery. Currently, if the two-day window means an item won't arrive until Monday, for some items members can opt to pay extra for Saturday delivery.

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