Amazon has announced a new partnership with the U.S. Postal Service that will allow it for the first time to deliver packages at regular rates on Sundays.
The initiative, which will begin immediately in New York and Los Angeles and expand to Washington, D.C. and much of the rest of the country next year, could help financial reform efforts at the struggling agency, reports The Washington Post
The USPS has lost more than $20 billion
over the past two years, largely because the volume of letters has plummeted due to the rise of the Internet and social media.
"As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement.
Postal Service officials said the agency plans to increase staffing of part-time employees in areas where Amazon will offer the service. As part of the deal, the agency will not charge the Internet retailer or its customers extra for Sunday shipment.
For its part, Amazon executives believe adding Sunday delivery through the USPS will boost sales, reports USA Today.
"The three big pieces of growth for us are selection, lower prices and speed," Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service, told the newspaper. "Adding an additional day is all about delivery speed. An Amazon customer can order a backpack and a Kindle for their child and be packing it up on Sunday for school on Monday."
Amazon has started its own same-day delivery service, Amazon Fresh, which provides grocery delivery in Los Angeles and Seattle and has plans to expand, but it needs carriers such as the Postal Service to be able to ship packages to every household in the country.
"We are leveraging our technology and infrastructure to get packages to USPS so they can create an incremental day of package delivery," Clark told USA Today.
"This helps them and it helps our service too."
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