November 11, 2013
Amazon To Deliver On Sunday Via USPS
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
While the Postal Service is threatening to cease Saturday deliveries, Amazon convinced the mail service to provide Sunday delivery in select markets, with plans to expand to more cities next year.
Currently the US Postal Service will deliver Amazon packages on Sundays starting in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas. The next markets expected to get weekend deliveries include Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix. Delivery will expand from the initial two cities in 2014.
Sunday delivery will be free for Amazon Prime members, and for orders over $35, USA Today reports. Free delivery for non-prime members on Amazon increased from $25 to $35, for five to eight-day shipping.
"If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night," said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon, in a corporate statement. "We're excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day and we know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience that they will experience as part of this new service."
USPS agreed to add service on Sundays, limited to Amazon packages out for delivery.
"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," said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO of USPS. "With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides."
Package delivery is viewed as the future for the Postal Service.
"It will certainly help. The fastest growing segment is the package business," said Donahoe, quoted in the USA Today piece. "The future of package delivery is a seven-day-a-week schedule. We’ve got the capacity to do it."
Sunday delivery is available in select markets on all qualifying Amazon orders. However Amazon Prime members stand to gain from the expanded delivery options. Members pay $79 per year for free, expedited deliveries with no minimum order. Additional benefits include access to free content on Amazon Instant Video. While Amazon charges an annual rate for its Prime service, last year the online retailer began offering monthly and weekly subscriptions that cost $7.99 per month for a subscription.
Delivery has become a competitive market for online sellers, as well as bricks and mortar stores. In the spring, Google joined the ranks of providers of same-day delivery on goods in test markets. Adding a Sunday delivery option helps Amazon stay competitive. By the same token, USPS gains a new source of revenue, and recognition for Sunday delivery service.
Faster delivery time has become a goal for Amazon. Amazon has spent billions of dollars in the building of new warehouses worldwide in order to fulfill orders faster, USA Today reports.
"The three big pieces of growth for us are selection, lower prices and speed," said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, in the USA Today story. "Adding an additional day is all about delivery speed."