USPS Gets Go-Ahead To Expand Deliveries Of Groceries & Other Stuff

Last month, the cash-strapped street urchin that is the U.S. Postal Service pleaded “more gruel, sir” to the Postal Regulatory Commission, asking for permission to expand its test of delivering groceries and other non-postal items during those wee-morning hours when mail trucks mostly sit idle. Today, the PRC granted the USPS its wish.

USPS has already been running some very localized deliveries for Amazon’s Amazon Fresh grocery service, packing its trucks with customers’ orders and making deliveries, often in the pre-dawn hours.

The Postal Service hopes it can find a new life making these sorts of non-postal deliveries and asked the PRC for permission to expand the test in size and scope.

Today, the PRC [PDF] gave the Service the okay to do so, but under the condition that the experimental “Custom Delivery” service program must be “from the viewpoint of mail users, significantly different from all Postal Service products offered within the past two fiscal years.”

This is basically a way of saying, that is a test to see how the USPS does with delivering things other than letters or packages.

The USPS had also asked for an exemption from the $10 million revenue cap for the test, but the PRC has — for the moment — denied that exemption because it doesn’t have enough data to determine if it’s necessary. The Postal folks will be allowed to revisit the exemption discussion at a later date, after it has more information on whether or not Custom Delivery is actually making money.

No word yet on when USPS will start leaving backs from groceries on your doorstep at 4:30 a.m.

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