Wednesday, September 28, 2016

USPS Will Continue Dabbling in Grocery Deliveries

The U.S. Postal Service got the go-ahead today to continue trying out the grocery-delivery business for another year so that it can experiment with different pricing and service models.

The USPS told the Postal Regulatory Commission that it's still trying "to determine the operational feasibility and the desirability of making Customized Delivery a permanent product." The PRC approved an extension of the two-year market test for a third year, through October 2017.

"The Postal Service asserts that it has not yet gained sufficient insight into the marketplace in different metropolitan areas to evaluate Customized Delivery’s long-term demand and market pricing," the PRC said in today's ruling.

Postal officials said they were planning to expand the service to additional markets but haven't decided which ones. Current markets served are San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Sacramento, Stamford (CT), and Las Vegas.

In most cases, Customized Delivery is acting as a delivery arm for AmazonFresh, which Amazon is offering in additional cities without the Postal Service's involvement.

The typical operation seems to involve Amazon dropping off totes full of groceries and other packaged goods to USPS Destination Delivery Units (DDUs), where non-career City Carrier Assistants in turn deliver them early in the morning to customers' doorsteps.

Related articles: