The U.S. Postal Service will expand testing of its Metro Post same-day delivery service to the Washington, DC, metro area next week, according to a notice released by the Postal Regulatory Commission this week.
Originally launched in San Francisco in 2012, the pilot was expanded to New York City in 2013 with the intention of creating a national same-day delivery option for retailers with local fulfillment capabilities. Consumers who order products online by 2 p.m. on a given day are guaranteed delivery between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. To speed deliveries, letter carriers use smartphones integrated with the Postal Service’s Dynamic Routing System application for Google Maps.
A critique of the San Francisco effort released by the office of the USPS Office of the Inspector General early last year, however, gave the test a grade of incomplete. 1-800-FLOWERS, the only large retailer signed up for the test, withdrew from the program before implementation. The 95 package-a-day volume created by the small, local retailers remaining in the study was not large enough to draw conclusions.
The subsequent New York test involved larger, higher-volume retailers, and the Washington test will be guided by procedures set down in September concerning market testing. The Postal Service is also currently testing a grocery delivery service in San Francisco.
Deliveries are slated to begin in DC on or around January 15.