USPS eyes next-day Sunday delivery

The Postal Service hasn’t disclosed which stores may sign onto the new pilot program, launched in advance of retailers’ most competitive time of the year.

11/1/2017 WASHINGTON (AP) — As consumers demand ever-quicker and convenient package delivery, the U.S. Postal Service wants to boost its business this holiday season by offering what few e-commerce retailers can provide: cheap next-day service with packages delivered Sundays to your home.

Retail giant Walmart says it is considering the Sunday option, which could reshape weekend shopping trips to the mall.

File photograph of package

The program, available in 20 major U.S. cities, allows consumers to place online orders with participating retailers before a cutoff time Saturday, the Postal Service said. Postal carriers pick up merchandise from local stores for delivery the following day, similar to the Sunday package deliveries it now handles almost exclusively for online leader Amazon in much of the U.S.

The Postal Service hasn’t disclosed which stores may sign onto the new pilot program, launched in advance of retailers’ most competitive time of the year.

“It’s one of the ideas Walmart is looking at,” company spokesman Ravi Jariwala told The Associated Press, citing the big-box chain’s recent focus on getting goods to shoppers’ front doors quickly. In recent months, Walmart has announced added shipping options to better compete with Amazon, from acquiring a same-day delivery service in New York to testing drop-offs of packages by Uber drivers and Walmart employees.

Best Buy and Target, which recently added speedier holiday shipping options, declined to comment on the program.

The next-day weekend service is part of the Postal Service’s aggressive push into the parcel business at a time when its more lucrative first-class mail is declining in the digital age. With Amazon continuing to raise the bar of “free shipping” conveniences, from one- or two-day package arrivals to keyless in-home delivery via couriers, the financially beleaguered post office is billing itself as the trusted, low-cost carrier already serving every U.S. household.

The expanded Sunday delivery is aimed at consumers like Susan Dennis, 68, of Seattle. Weary of weekend trips to the mall where she often ends up stuck in traffic or waiting too long in line, the retiree says she buys online whenever possible and isn’t wedded to just Amazon, if the product quality is good and the delivery “fast and inexpensive.”

“More Sunday deliveries would be one of the sweetest deals ever — give me the URL and I will buy whatever,” Dennis said.

Bolstered by e-commerce growth and its Sunday operations, the Postal Service will reach new highs this year in holiday package delivery, with nearly 850 million U.S. parcels delivered from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, according to figures compiled by industry tracker ShipMatrix Inc. for the AP. That 13 percent increase from 2016 would exceed the single-digit percentage growth for UPS and FedEx, putting the post office on track to capture 45.6 percent market share in peak holiday deliveries, ShipMatrix said.

The post office’s growth is due in large part to its established network in the “last mile,” the final and usually most expensive stretch of a package’s journey to a customer’s door. UPS and FedEx already subcontract a chunk of their last-mile deliveries to the post office. Due to slower growth this holiday season, the two private carriers are expected to drop in market share, to 31.3 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively, according to the ShipMatrix analysis.

UPS, in a dig at the post office’s financial woes, says it is focused on profitable growth and less concerned about expanding market share, “especially if it were to involve loss-making service expansions.” FedEx said it had no comment on market share and would boost operations during the holiday season to meet customer needs.

Courier services, such as Uber and Deliv, are expected to rise, delivering about 5.2 percent of the peak holiday packages.

“Having a Postal Service driver on every street every day making deliveries, you can’t really beat that,” said Satish Jindel, founder and president of ShipMatrix.

The holiday plans include added postal delivery on Sundays beginning Nov. 26 and delivery on Christmas Day in some cities, the postal service said. It also offers a new online tool that allows consumers to reschedule package deliveries to ensure someone is home to receive them.

The Postal Service also bucked the shipping industry by keeping package rates largely unchanged for the holidays. UPS for the first time is imposing holiday surcharges on ground shipments to homes during peak periods, such as the weeks leading into Black Friday and Christmas, while FedEx is raising rates for certain oversized packages.

“The Postal Service is well-prepared to meet our customers’ needs during the holiday season, especially as demand for package deliveries continues to grow,” said Megan Brennan, postmaster general.

Analysts have cheered the Postal Service’s promise in the digital age, noting that there now is little talk of ending Saturday mail delivery given rising package demands. “The future of USPS probably hasn’t been better in a long time,” said David G. Ross, a shipping analyst at Stifel Financial Corp.

Still, its parcel success hasn’t translated into profits.

An independent agency of government, the Postal Service has lost money for 10 years, primarily due to costs of its pension and health-care obligations. And while online shopping has led to years of double-digit growth in its package-delivery business, it hasn’t offset declines in first-class mail. The post office is seeking flexibility to raise the price of mailing letters and also needs Congress to free it from a 2006 requirement that it pre-fund retiree health benefits.

“The future is bright for the Postal Service — if it doesn’t go bankrupt first,” said Ravi Shanker, an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

11 thoughts on “USPS eyes next-day Sunday delivery

  1. Let’s go figure this out: Where was the post office before Amazon= In front of the Treasury Department begging for money-looking for anyway to survive then a miracle happened-Amazon come on the scene ,hence-relief financially because it injected billions of dollars into the post revenue coffers for the over bloated, empty headed Postal MisManaged fools that are at Elephant plaza in Washington! Now, let’s fast forward to the present-Amazon is about to engage their delivery system and where do you think the PO fits into? Well, since Amazon monitors all pallets that got left behind for delivery because a 3rd party shipper arrived late many times /instead of going ahead and paying the overtime to get them pallets out to insure customer needs and wants for proper delivery standard which the Post office stands by says: we have a contract and if it doesn’t meet a certain dead line then we can leave it for the next day! Even thou our Motto is: Service is Priority One! Bullshit, out biggest customer is kicked to the curb because the post office wants to make bogus numbers to get their No Work Performance Bonus ! The Post Office will be begging Amazon to stay with them once the contract is expired and it would be no surprise if Amazon says: thanks but No Thanks! Let the RIF’s fly then( REDUCTION IN FORCE) All them peanut headed Eas’s will think : they got to have me to help run the place-hahahahaha. Another fiasco just waiting to happen. There’s nothing going to change for this place because of the corruption and the everyday conflicts of MicroMismanagement and the workforce=here’s and idea: use some common sense and treat people right , you might gets some positive results. Instead the creed is to work the shit out to of the CCA’s and overwork your OTDl’s , Only clue the MisManagement at the floor lever, only know how to fill out bogus reports and talk in the teleconferences and administer discipline! That’s why the post office hands out millions in grievances every year. Better to do that then to hire and properly train good supervisors that would run the organization better. Have a good-day

  2. HA…..the delivery LLV’s can’t make it 6 days……so run them 7…..Muffin IOD Meghan Brennen the Demonrat Obammy holdover has got to go! more phony numbers to manipulate for the bonus scam. Postal OIG in on that too!

  3. Some regular carriers who are on the ot list might not mind makin the easy money of delivering parcels on Sunday, so it’s not all bad news. If this program takes off in the test mode as it may, there should be enough work for them to schedule ftr’s for their guaranteed 8 hour minimum on their sdo’s, because as the article reads, the carriers will be picking up the parcels from the brick and mortar locations of the companies who are interested. Innovations like these are good because they build on the already trusted brand that America knows they can count on to deliver. No one in management ever tells you to skip your breaks or lunch, you just have to develop enough of a pair to inform them if you are running behind due to their numbers not calculating in those amounts of time that EVERY carrier is entitled to take. Do your best out there, in spite of and instead of their numbers, and embrace the innovations.

  4. Do I still have to delivery all the junk mail , and first class we do get?
    I read they want a app so customers can have us circle back if they
    are not at home the first time by.
    Good luck following my GPS when I circle back a few times.

  5. Good luck with this one. The PO can’t meet their delivery
    standards now. How adding more packages will work is
    insane. Turnover rate for new hires is 50% now because
    these new hires are forced to work crazy schedules as is.
    Force everyone to work 7 days. Force vets to work
    What a fiasco. Get out now. Muffin Meghen is proof of the
    absurd ruining the PO. The end is near.

  6. once again…postal mismanagement shows how unfit they are for their position. they try to come up with new things that dont work instead of making sure the things they allready have are working properly and effeciently.

  7. We don’t have enough workers for 6days let alone 7 days. You have to hire, hire, hire to take market share. 10 to 12 hour day just don’t cut it.

  8. She’s 68 years old, she can’t wait a day for delivery? We are having enough trouble hiring in our district as it is, and now add another burden to overstressed carriers? It’s a recipe for “V” time, plenty of that already, and burnout and and even higher turnover rate.

    The only saving grace is that everyone else has the same problem.

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