News Byte: USPS, Amazon Partner on Sunday Delivery

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No day of rest for USPS package deliverers.
No day of rest for USPS package deliverers.

Five-day mail delivery awaits approval from Congress, but seven-day package delivery became a reality in an agreement announced today by Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service. Beginning this week, Amazon Prime members in New York and Los Angeles will receive their Friday orders on Sunday.

“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. We're now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities,” says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. Amazon and USPS plan a phased rollout to cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix in 2014.

While the news is bound to buoy postal union members' spirits this holiday season, it may not be enough to move the ball on postal reform. “The unions will applaud it. They are all about the Postal Service growing its business, not cutting its costs. It should also please people like [Sen. Tom] Coburn, but I don't see it having any impact on reform,” says Hamilton Davison, president and executive director of the American Catalog Mailers Association.

The exclusive arrangement between the nation's postal monopoly and its largest e-com is sure to cause repercussions among competitive delivery services and internet retailers, however. “We know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience they will experience as part of this new service,” says Dave Clark, Amazon's VP of worldwide operations and customer service.

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