The agency asked the Postal Regulatory Commission on Friday to extend the two-year test for another year, to October 31, 2017, and for permission to enter new markets. The venture serves select ZIP codes in the New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Stamford (CT), and Las Vegas areas -- mostly in partnership with Amazon's "AmazonFresh" service.
"The Postal Service has determined that it will be necessary to continue the market test in a variety of metropolitan areas over the next year, in order for the Postal Service to make a final determination on the operational feasibility and the desirability of making Customized Delivery a permanent product," the filing said.
The initial model involved non-career City Carriers Assistants delivering totes with groceries and other packaged goods to residences between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. But postal officials have indicated they want to test additional delivery windows, as well as a variety of pricing structures.
The test is part of the Postal Service's multi-pronged effort to grow its package-delivery business to make up for declining volumes of traditional mail. That brings us to today's Publishing Word of the Day: Dead Tree Edition hereby renames the USPS the U.S. Parcel Service because of its focus single-minded focus on parcel delivery, to the detriment of traditional mail
If you're wondering what this has to do with publishing, you haven't been in a meeting with postal officials lately to discuss Periodicals service and pricing when all they want to talk about is their growing package business. The official USPS position is that it can't live on parcels alone, but try telling that to postal execs who sound so adversarial when it comes to the boring old letters and flats mail that still brings in most of the bucks.
- Third Bush on the Right, Please: USPS Grocery Deliveries Would Need Lots of TLC from Carriers (Editor's note: "Third Bush on the Right, Please" refers to a Customized Delivery customer's hypothetical delivery instructions, not to Jeb Bush. We apologize for the confusion this headline has caused.)
- USPS Grocery Delivery Coming to the Big Apple
- Dead Tree Edition is celebrating July with the 31-part Publishing Word of the Day series, which includes the USPS's apparently creative use of the word "inadvertent."