eBay, Amazon and Walmart Stores have recently a new same-day service in selected cities. (eBay Now serves some of the Manhattan and Brooklyn areas of New York City. Amazon offers same day in many cities throughout the country, including Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, and Washington, DC. Walmart To Go is covering Chicago and San Jose/San Francisco.) Now a new company has thrown its hat into the same-day shipping ring, the United States Postal Service.
As you may know, the USPS has been dealing with mounting losses for years. This move may help to rebuild the USPS as a viable player in the delivery/eCommerce services market. The new service, called Metro Post, is slated to begin testing in the San Francisco market on December 12. For a fee of $10, the USPS will deliver purchases in that area from major retailers the USPS has partnered with. At this time, there is no list of retail partners available. That will be announced closer to the December 12 launch date.
According to the documents the USPS filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission, here is how the program will work:
Through this market test, buyers can request same-day delivery in one of three ways: 1) utilizing a qualifying online e-commerce platform to purchase items online; 2) purchasing items at the retail stores that have partnered with test participants; or 3) visiting a test participant’s website to purchase items. Eligible buyers must live in a specified area within a selected major metropolitan area.
The daily cut-off times for making any purchases of items delivered via Metro Post service will occur between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Package pick-up will then be scheduled to take place at participating locations after 3:00pm, by Postal Service-uniformed delivery personnel. The Metro Post packages may be exchanged between agents, and dynamic routing tools will be used, in order to ensure efficient delivery; at this time, the logistics have not been finalized. Same-day delivery will occur between approximately 4:00pm and 8:00pm, as determined by the Postal Service.
The USPS is projecting that it will earn between $10 million and $50 million in new revenue in the San Francisco area alone. If the test is successful, the USPS plans to roll Metro Post out to 10 other large cities and believes it would increase its earnings to $500 million with the expansion.
This could be the program to help rebuild the financially struggling USPS. Last week, it reported a $15.9 billion annual loss for the last fiscal year. It will not resolve the entire budget issue but it could be a profitable move.