U.S. Postal Service Asks To Continue Grocery Delivery Experiment Until Fall 2017, Expand To More Cities

Image courtesy of .sanden.

Looking for more revenue sources, the U.S. Postal Service would really like to put their delivery fleet and employees to work delivering pretty much anything that someone will pay them to deliver. That includes groceries, dry cleaning, and pretty much anything else that will fit in a USPS vehicle that can be lugged to customers’ doorsteps. A test of “customized delivery services” began back in 2014, and the USPS has asked to extend it until October 2017.

Customized Delivery Services is an experiment in having the USPS bring Americans things other than mail: notably, Amazon uses the service to handle grocery deliveries in the test markets. Over the last year, the service expanded from its early test site in San Francisco to Los Angeles, San Diego, New York City, Sacramento, CA, Stamford, CT, and Las Vegas.

How is the test actually going? We can’t know that, since the data is considered “commercially sensitive,” and not available to the public. More importantly, it’s not available to the other delivery services that would compete with the postal service for this business.

What we do know is that the postal service wants to “continue the market test in a variety of metropolitan areas during the next year,” hoping to finally decide whether this would be a good idea for a nationwide product in markets where some business wants stuff delivered to customers’ doorsteps between 3 and 7 A.M.

While the question of how big our mailboxes should be and whether the USPS should still have exclusive access to them is still under discussion, but if the Postal Regulatory Commission approves this change, more cities could have wee-hours deliveries brought to their doors.

NOTICE AND ORDER CONCERNING REQUEST FOR EXTENDING AND EXPANDING MARKET TEST AND DESIGNATING SUBSTITUTE PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE [Postal Regulatory Commission]