Amazon and USPS announce Sunday shipping ahead of holidays

Amazon and USPS strike a deal to deliver seven days a week, and Sunday shipping will start this weekend in New York and Los Angeles.
Posted By Sonali Basak  |  Updated Nov. 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM
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(UPI) -- Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service reached a deal to deliver packages at no extra charge to New York and Los Angeles seven days a week, starting this Sunday.

Amazon, the world's largest Internet retailer, hopes to expand Sunday deliveries in 2014 by reaching Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.

The USPS is an "unlikely partner" for Amazon, but the arrangement has obvious advantages for both companies.

The USPS is cash-short, losing almost $16 billion last year. The company reported that package shipments have increased while volume of mail shipped has declined. Congress recently denied a USPS request to cut back to five days a week for mail delivery. It is currently at six.

While the USPS loses money on Saturday mail delivery, Saturday package delivery is profitable. A USPS spokesperson said the company hopes to expand the Sunday delivery service to more retailers, tapping into a $186 billion e-commerce market.

The USPS expects a 12 percent jump to 420 million packages delivered this holiday season.

The deal is also strategic for Amazon. Selection, prices and speed are the three areas of growth for the company according to Dave Clark, Amazon vice president of worldwide operations and customer service. The company strives to act more and more like a brick-and-mortar store through immediacy.

An Amazon spokesperson said they chose the USPS over FedEx and United Parcel Service because the government technology pairs well with Amazon's technology. FedEx and UPS typically do not deliver on Sundays, and the USPS is the only service that reaches every American doorstep.

And while the USPS does not plan to add employees, it will employ flexible scheduling to meet the new demand.

Amazon currently offers same-day, fresh food delivery in Los Angeles and Seattle, where the company is based. It's also ramping up its warehouse presence to meet immediate demands.

While it is reported that Sunday deliveries will be more expensive for Amazon, neither company has revealed specifics of the deal.

And the consumer won't feel the price hike. Deliveries will be at no extra charge, and Amazon Prime members, who pay annually for shipping, can order packages on Friday and receive them by Sunday for free.

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