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U.S. Postal Service wins Amazon Sunday deliveries

By Barbara Ortutay

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:50 p.m. HST, Nov 11, 2013

NEW YORK >> Amazon is rolling out Sunday package delivery as part of a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service.

Delivery started on Sunday to customers in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas, but Amazon and the Postal Service plan to extend service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, the company said. This includes the cities of Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix.

Sunday delivery will be available to all Amazon customers for no extra charge but Amazon expects it will be particularly popular with members of its Prime service, which costs $79 a year and comes with free two-day shipping on many items on the site as well as access to Amazon's TV and movie streaming service.  

"For Prime members, it's free, for non-Prime members, it's like any other delivery day of the week," said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service at Amazon.

Sunday delivery has been on Amazon's wish list for a long time. The company does not disclose the percentage of its packages that are delivered on weekends, but Clark expects customers "to be delighted that they will get their products on a weekend."

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but the deal is likely to give the financially ailing Postal Service a boost. The agency, which lost $16 billion last year and expects to lose $6 billion this year, had tried but failed to end Saturday mail delivery as a cost-saving measure. The Postal Service's financial quandary stems largely from the fact that fewer people send mail, instead using the Internet to pay bills, send letters or birthday greetings. Adding to its troubles is a 2006 congressional requirement that it make advance payments to cover expected health care costs for future retirees.

The agency has been building up a "flexible workforce" for the past 18 months, so right now it doesn't need to hire additional carriers to work on Sunday," said Sue Brennan, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service. If and when this service expands, "we'll make (the) decision if necessary," she added in an email.

Sunday delivery isn't an entirely new territory for the USPS. Priority Mail Express, its fastest service, offers Sunday and holiday delivery for a small fee. And during the holiday shipping rush in December it delivers packages on Sundays in major metropolitan areas.

Shares of Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. closed up $4.07 at $354.38.

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mikethenovice wrote:
Nobody home on Sunday. That's when we take the kids to grandpa house, sporting event, or the mall.
on November 11,2013 | 07:17PM
blkdrgn wrote:
When you get back home your package will be waiting for you.
on November 12,2013 | 07:29AM
mikethenovice wrote:
FedEx and UPS also deliver Amazon parcels, and they will not be working on Sunday. I will not waste my day off at home wondering who will deliver my Amazon.
on November 11,2013 | 07:19PM
mikethenovice wrote:
The PO can't make up it's mind if it wants to give service, or go broke.
on November 11,2013 | 07:19PM
mikethenovice wrote:
UPS and FedEx are smart. They deliver when we get home after work. The PO makes us get our mail at the PO will call. That defeats the reason why we shop online.
on November 11,2013 | 07:21PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Absolutely correct.

If I order something through Amazon and it comes via UPS or Fed-Ex, they simply deliver it. If it comes through the US Post Office, I get a salmon colored slip in my mailbox and have to find time in the next couple of day to go stand in line at the post office.

on November 12,2013 | 08:26AM
mikethenovice wrote:
The PO is suppose to treat every customer fairly. Why only deliver Amazon parcels? Sounds like more time will be wasted to put the boxes not from Amazon aside because the boxes that arrive at the PO comes from all different customer. How will the postal mail sorters know which boxes are from Amazon? Look for the patent printed smile on the side of the box? More Micky Mouse, first grade management thinking at work.
on November 12,2013 | 04:52AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Too much already! We don't need mail 6 days a week and deliveries on Sundays. We got football on Sundays until early February. Mail delivery should be 3 days a week for residential.
on November 12,2013 | 06:00AM
blkdrgn wrote:
This may be a good thing as Amazon is going to pay the PO for this service. This may also help alleviate the backlog on Mondays. This also could help speed up the shipping during the rest of the week since the load may be a lot less. FYI, a lot of Amazon Prime orders do not qualify for free 2nd day air shipping to Hawaii and comes though USPS.
on November 12,2013 | 07:39AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
If I order something through Amazon and it comes via UPS or Fed-Ex, they simply deliver it. If it's big or needs to be signed for, the driver will call me so I can meet him.

If it comes through the US Post Office, it doesn't matter if someone is home or not, because the Post Service never tries or checks. I simply get a salmon colored slip in my mailbox and have to find time in the next couple of day to go stand in line at the post office.

I try to avoid the postal service whenever possible.

on November 12,2013 | 08:29AM
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