The U.S. Postal Service has become an extension of Amazon and is courting other e-commerce giants, Bloomberg reports.
The United States Postal Service has shifted its way of doing business thanks to its work with e-retail giant Amazon, expanding its delivery hours and days, even working on Sunday.
Letter carriers have been delivering an increasing number of packages as the number of letters being sent has dwindled in the era of digital communication and online payments. Now the quasi-governmental service is employing its massive infrastructure and delivery protocols for same-day delivery of groceries and other on-demand delivery.
When it comes to e-commerce deliveries, the focus is usually on UPS and FedEx and the booming upstarts in same-day delivery. But the U.S. Postal Service is delivering some 40% of Amazon’s orders nationwide, more than UPS and FedEx. And its infrastructure is already set up to handle same-day deliveries, so that pivot has been pretty smooth, according to postmaster general Megan Brennan.
“We’re on people’s doorstep six days a week, seven days a week in some cases,” Brennan told Bloomberg. “It’s just a logical progression.”
The service’s Achilles heel is its dependency on the Postal Regulatory Commission for rate increases and pricing based on laws passed by Congress. USPS needs new technology and trucks to make this shift from letter-and-package delivery to a more comprehensive, more nimble delivery service. And its dependency on Amazon could hurt if Amazon is able to depend on drones in the future or finds some other way to deliver packages and groceries.
That’s why the postal service aims to diversify its client base, now that it’s getting the technology and equipment to compete both in the long-distance and same-day delivery fields.
“Amazon is the first,” Brennan says. “But we’re obviously looking to get additional customers who are interested in that type of customized delivery.”