Amazon, USPS to start Sunday deliveries

The world's biggest online retailer seeks to broaden its reach by getting orders to customers on any day of the week.

By MSNMoney partner Nov 11, 2013 9:54AM

AmazonBy Danielle Kucera, Bloomberg

Bloomberg on MSN  (AMZN) and the U.S. Postal Service are teaming up to offer Sunday delivery as the world's biggest online retailer seeks to broaden its reach by getting packages to customers on any day of the week.

Customers in New York and Los Angeles can start choosing Sunday delivery at no extra cost from this week. The service will expand to Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, New Orleans and other cities next year, Amazon said in a statement today.

While Amazon is seeking to siphon away customers from Target (TGT) and other retailers, it's also facing competition from online-shopping sites that are rolling out new services to get products to customers more quickly and efficiently. EBay (EBAY) offers deliveries under an hour, seven days a week, for some products, and Wal-Mart (WMT) operates a same-day delivery service for groceries and household goods.

"What really drives the company -- it's all about selection growth, lower costs and increased speed," Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, said in an interview. "Thousands of people around the world spend every day working on those three things in operations, and a big piece of speed for us is adding seven-day delivery."

Amazon won't change shipping prices for customers, adding to fulfillment costs that made up the largest portion of the company's expenses in the third quarter. Investors have endorsed the investment in capacity -- spending increased 35 percent to $2.03 billion -- pushing up the company's shares 40 percent so far this year even as the Seattle-based retailer posts losses.

The Web retailer's partnership with the postal service means faster delivery for Internet shoppers, especially Amazon Prime members who pay $79 a year for unlimited two-day shipping -- a promise the company previously couldn't fulfill if someone ordered a product on Friday afternoon. For the postal service, the alliance means more packages flowing through its network, which generates more revenue than flat mail.

Sunday delivery is part of Amazon's strategy to keep shoppers coming back to buy products on its Web store. The company had 89 warehouses in 2012 and is planning 7 more this year. Amazon also unveiled plans in July to increase staff by 5,000 in 17 centers this year, and is hiring 70,000 seasonal workers in the U.S. to meet holiday order demand.

By investing in fulfillment centers -- massive warehouses that store and package everything from books to garden furniture -- Amazon has improved its ability to sort packages so that they reach shoppers more quickly and efficiently. That could help the U.S. Postal Service as it increases its breadth of services, Clark said.

Amazon's Sunday delivery service is being introduced just before the year-end holiday shopping season, when the postal service predicts that 15 billion pieces of mail will be delivered.

Nov 11, 2013 10:48AM
As a retired postal worker I am glad to hear that the postal service is opening up their minds to keep the mail moving and this is something customers have wanted for a long time. Not everyone works Mon - Fri.
Nov 11, 2013 11:39AM

Does nobody remember that the USPS is in fact the only part of the government that wasn't in debt  before  Congress came up with New Accounting math that gave them to access billions of dollars of the postal services money(profits and retirement holdings) to pay off  the governments debt Against the Laws that they wrote ?    And that by doing so wrote in legislation that forces the Postal Service to make the payments of those loans to ITSELF !!!!!!!    It cannot cover the missing funds and make the payments at the same time .  Its like buying a new car and making the dealership pay your payments ...Great for you but not so much for the business. 

      Don't believe it Look it up , its the way our government does business . No conspiracy theories or party lines here just scary truths


Nov 11, 2013 11:06AM
The United States Postal Service is trying to eliminate Saturday delivery and now it would like to deliver on Sunday. Theirs some confusion and fuzzy math going on with the Postmaster General. He is sending mixed messages to Congress about the financial situation with USPS. 
Nov 11, 2013 11:25AM
I'm glad they switched to USPS. Before they were using UPS and they were ok, but they would deliver usually between 6 - 8pm... With USPS the Amazon 2 day prime shipment is delivered in 2 days and it comes with my normal mail delivery, which for me is mornings. Even non prime items come in a reasonable time and I still prefer that it comes with my normal mail delivery. Thank Amazon
Nov 11, 2013 11:51AM
great idea! the postal service might make it after all?
Nov 11, 2013 12:29PM
Has anyone else tracked Amazon shipments via UPS or FedEx that are finally delivered to the home by USPS?  I've watched several times as packages show "delivered to USPS" sit three days or more at my local PO before being finally delivered to my house.  It takes longer to get from the PO to my home than it does for UPS or FedEx to ship it halfway across the country.
As an Amazon Prime member, I find that Amazon often misses my 2-day delivery guarantee when they opt to send via USPS instead of via UPS or FedEx. I have no confidence that USPS will be able to fulfill Sunday deliveries when they can't even fulfill deliveries on normal days by the deadlines.
Nov 11, 2013 11:33AM
I love Amazon--  But we don't need Sunday delivery...
Nov 11, 2013 11:51AM

USPS won't deliver packages to my house even on weekdays.  They just leave a note, and I have to drive to the PO to get it. 

Nov 11, 2013 12:11PM
Have had mixed success with USPS deliveries for Amazon stuff.  "Guaranteed Delivery by..." doesn't seem to mean that, and items also lost.  The so-called "tracking" is not real-time like UPS or FedEx and is inaccurate.  I don't expect that the USPS service level will be able to live up to Amazon's standards.

Nov 11, 2013 2:40PM
UPS and FEDEX are to cheap to deliver the last mile (the most expensive mile) so they pay the USPS to do it. UPS and FEDEX do not want to make the USPS look good so they sit on the parcels a few days to make the USPS look bad. USPS Standards ...Every Piece, Every Day.
Nov 11, 2013 10:52AM

Rural Carriers do not get overtime unless they work over their evaluated time the 4 weeks prior to Christmas. Who gets double, not USPS employees. Get your facts straight. Just another person with diarrhea of the mouth and too stupid and/or lazy to check facts.

Nov 11, 2013 12:31PM
Like the article says, it is for Sunday delivery. I am sure that the rest of the times it will be UPS. I hate FedEx. I wish when i buy something online they would use someone else. USPS and UPS are way better.
Nov 11, 2013 11:30AM

The post office just told the American public that they want to stop Saturday delivery and now they are going to start sunday delivery wow maqke up your mind!

Nov 11, 2013 12:51PM
Extremely satisfied with UPS delivery service! Order from Amazon all the time and whenever USPS is involved, it always comes later than promised. UPS, even with ground service arrives on time or earlier. Bad move for Amazon! The Post Office does not even deliver their own expensive express mail on Sundays.
Nov 11, 2013 3:02PM
Amazon is the best company on the planet!


Nov 11, 2013 12:14PM
This should be an interesting test. The USPS can't keep itself straight on a Mon-Sat schedule .
Nov 11, 2013 12:58PM
Where we live Fedx and UPS do a great job. As a Prime member I always get my order on time. With anything I order on line not from Amazon and it is shipped USPS it takes forever to arrive. If my Amazon orders start arriving late no more prime for me.
Nov 11, 2013 11:16AM
OK rural carriers get OT if they work more than thier evaluation in a given week so they would get paid extra for working on a Sunday. USPS is trying to eliminate door - to - door delivery on Saturday not parcels. Finally you only get double time if you work over 10 hours in a day and 56 in a week. EXCLUDING THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON. Get your facts straight ladies.
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