Those who oppose the proposed end of Saturday delivery by the United States Postal Service won’t like this New York Times story that the USPS and Amazon signed a deal to have the USPS begin limited Sunday delivery of Amazon parcels effective immediately:
The cash-short United States Postal Service, which has failed to win congressional approval to stop delivering mail on Saturdays to save money, has struck a deal with the online retailer Amazon.com to deliver the company’s packages on Sundays — a first for both, with obvious advantages for each.
For the Postal Service, which lost nearly $16 billion last year, first-class mail delivery, particularly on Saturdays, is often a money loser, whereas package delivery is profitable.
The deal, announced on Sunday and taking effect immediately, in time for the holiday shopping season, gives the Postal Service a chance to take some business from United Parcel Service and FedEx, which do not deliver on Sundays. Now, some orders that would have been handled by either of those carriers for Monday delivery will go through the Postal Service and arrive on Sunday.
For this shopping season, this service, offered at no additional cost to Amazon’s customers, is limited to those in the New York City and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Amazon and the USPS are looking at expanding it to other large metropolitan areas in 2014.
Sunday delivery in major metropolitan areas is not a new thing for the USPS. It offers Sunday delivery of items shipped via Priority Express in those areas for an additional fee. This new deal is a manifestation of the USPS’ attempt to reinvent itself to take full advantage of e-commerce.
Personally, I like it, though I don’t expect Amazon to ever expand it to cities such as Milwaukee even though the USPS does offer Sunday delivery of Priority Express items here. I would like it more if the USPS were privatized.