November 12, 2013

Amazon gets the Postal Service to do Sunday deliveries.

And WaPo calls it "Amazon’s brilliant plan to rescue the Postal Service and disrupt the shipping industry."
Amazon could have offered to pay the Postal Service for carrying more of its packages generally, and USPS would have gotten a much-needed injection of cash....

By launching Sunday deliveries, the Postal Service has moved to where its longtime competitors aren't. Hardly anybody in any industry delivers on Sunday, with the exception of newspapers. As a business idea....

The other reason it's disruptive? This is one of the few cases we've seen of what we'll call reverse contracting — when the private sector hires a government agency to fill its need rather than the other way around. 
This might be a good place to remind you of the brilliance of the Amazon Associates Program, which lets you make a cost-free contribution to writers like me. (The "shop Amazon" link is always at the top of this blog in the banner.)

20 comments:

PB Reader said...

Um, the USPS has always been the only overnight carrier to deliver on Sundays. This is not that big of an extension. Likely it was more of an initiative by the USPS and consultants trying to help it survive than by Amazon.

The Drill SGT said...

Sunday Delivery in LA and NYC this year. Maybe more cities next year...

These are places where they have their priority letter Sunday delivery already. Not huge in other words

A10pilot said...

And just who the hell do you think actually transports the packages?
That would be me in my FedEx Boeing 777 (or 767, 757, MD-10/11, or Airbus 300/310)...and our competitor Big Brown.
They are not doing THAT big a service and physically couldn't w/o those eeeeeevil private sector partners.
Meh.

traditionalguy said...

Amazon comes via UPS deliveries, but if Sunday Postal Service is done well, then maybe Amazon will start using the Postal Service on those other six days a week.

The Godfather said...

I'd be interested to know more about the economics of this deal. It doesn't appear to make sense for USPS. For Amazon, it is probably intended to leverage FedEx and UPS to deliver on Sundays for regular prices, which does make sense, but only if USPS can continue Sunday package service.

DanTheMan said...

Warthog driver,
Don't tell Elizbeth Warren. She thinks government builds roads.

With money they get from... well, not from private companies or their employees, that's for sure.

Charles said...

As long as the USPS service is Sunday Only I can appreciate it.

USPS service is horrible in most cases and I avoid it like the plague. In case I need to their tracking is so basic as to be unneeded since its usually updated days after delivery. They lose packages and their customer services is as bad as the DMV.

If Amazon goes to USPS for most packages I will stop using Amazon if I can.

Matthew Sablan said...

Sunday delivery should be substituted for, say, Wednesday delivery. It makes sense in my head.

Paddy O said...

It's worth noting that USPS won't use full-time employees, but part-time ones. I was a part-time USPS carrier/clerk in college and just after, working summers and holidays. Great summer job, lots of exercise, lots of sun. It was, then at least, 4 or 5 dollars above minimum wage.

But no benefits, holidays or anything else. Which helps USPS bypass a fair amount of their current budget problems related to benefits and pensions and such. Easy money for them, very little downside. The employees doing Sunday delivery will have ready access to the Obamacare site when it comes online.

YoungHegelian said...

Does anyone expect the WaPo, now owned lock, stock, & barrell by Jeff Bezos, to ever say that anything Amazon does is a stupid idea?

cubanbob said...

Read the comments on the WaPo site to get a full flavor sample of the force of idiocy on the left.

Lance said...

when the private sector hires a government agency to fill its need

Incorrect. USPS is a government-sponsored entity, like Fannie and Freddie used to be. It is NOT a government agency. At least not yet.

Inga said...

As far as carriers, I hate FedEx, sloppy rude delivery persons, lost packages. USPS does a far better job at delivery and UPS excels. My mailman and the UPS guy are my best Christmas bonus recipients.

Drago said...

Inga: "USPS does a far better job at delivery and UPS excels."

Hmmm, perhaps you could define "excels" for us.

Or, you could take a gander at this:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/1460471-why-fedex-has-ups-beat

Of course, it's all about yucky capitalist-y stuff, so you might not want to see it.

elkh1 said...

Do taxpayers pay USPS workers double-time for working on Sundays?

Drago said...

elkh1 said: "Do taxpayers pay USPS workers double-time for working on Sundays?"

But we're baby-stepping here.

Remember, we're talking about a government agency that can't tie it's own shoes without private sector support (consulting/systems) etc.

But hey, not to worry. We're still giving them total control over our personal health and confidential information.

What could go wrong?.....

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:
"As far as carriers, I hate FedEx, sloppy rude delivery persons, lost packages. USPS does a far better job at delivery and UPS excels. My mailman and the UPS guy are my best Christmas bonus recipients"

I guess it depends on the carrier. Our postal guy never rings the bell when we have a package. So when we check the mail we have the slip telling us to go to the post office to pick up the package.
Even though we were in the apartment the entire time!

Bruce Hayden said...

Lance - the USPS is not just federally sponsored. It is also federally chartered, has its own section of the US Code and CFR. And it's own gun toting police.

Did patent work for them for a couple of years. One involved law enforcement, and the people I talked to were either agents or, I think, investigators. I asked the difference. Told that the agents (I think) were the ones with guns, who could arrest you for federal crimes.

Another time, I spent some time arguing with a patent examiner about which state the USPS was incorporated in. My response was that it was incorporated under federal statute, and not any state's law, and then cited to the USC. Funny thing was that the USPTO was trying to get similar status at the time. I also pointed out that they were two of the few specific functions specifically called out for the federal govt in our Constitution.

Let me add that there is probably more Congressional meddling with the USPS than pretty much any other quasi private government organization, with a subcommittee set up just to oversee it. Which is another reason they can't stop the red ink - every time they try to close a post office, constituents scream and members of Congress respond.

eddie willers said...

Does anyone expect the WaPo, now owned lock, stock, & barrell by Jeff Bezos, to ever say that anything Amazon does is a stupid idea?

That was the first thing that went through my mind when I read the "Amazon’s brilliant plan..."

"Errr...that's a great idea, boss".

Surprised you are the only other person pointing this out. I'm sure Amazon will have many more "brilliant" ideas trumpeted in WaPo.

ken in sc said...

We have received several mail order shipments that were transported by UPS to our local post office and then delivered to our mailbox by the USPS. I don't know who benefits from this system but it's OK with me if the stuff fits in the mailbox.

BTW, Inga is mostly right about good service from the USPS. It depends on where you live. If your mail goes through Chicago or Washington DC you get the worst service--don't know about West Coast. Most of the country gets good service.