Postal

Why the U.S. Postal Service Can Win the Battle for the Same-Day Delivery Market
January 15, 2014

Despite a slow start to its same-day delivery program for e-commerce purchases, the U.S. Postal Service is in a strong position to challenge FedEx, UPS and other competitors in that potentially lucrative market. USPS began testing same-day delivery under the brand name of Metro Post in San Francisco at the beginning of 2013. It promised delivery by 8 p.m. of packages tendered by 2 p.m. on that day. In December, it extended the pilot to New York City.

Realism and Final Delivery for 2013
December 30, 2013

Being realistic means being practical and/or pragmatic.
For holiday 2013, there were five really big factors that were going to impact final delivery. And yet UPS and FedEx still failed to be realistic, practical, or pragmatic in communicating their failure to deliver on their promises for holiday 2013. Let's first take a step back. What were the five big factors impacting final delivery?

Why Drone Delivery Won’t Replace the UPS Guy
December 6, 2013

When Jeff Bezos, the C.E.O. of Amazon, told "60 Minutes" this week that his company was experimenting with having drones deliver its packages, he seemed to be conjuring up a future in which fleets of flying machines would tote most of our purchases, and in which ordinary delivery people would become obsolete. But even if Amazon's Prime Air does work, and if drone delivery eventually becomes adopted more widely, it's not likely to wreck the delivery business as we know it.

How Prepaid Shipping Benefits Consumers and Retailers
December 2, 2013

Absorbing shipping costs on a mass scale can stress any operating budget, so retailers have been searching for the best ways to balance these expenses against higher abandonment rates. A few companies, including Amazon.com and Sears, have found solutions via pre-paid shipping programs. These programs charge consumers an up-front fee that helps fund ongoing shipping options and keeps consumers committed.

Amazon Testing Drones for Same-Day Package Delivery, Bezos Says
December 2, 2013

Amazon.com is testing drones to deliver goods as it works to improve efficiency and speed in getting products to consumers. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos unveiled the plan on CBS's "60 Minutes" news program in the U.S., showing interviewer Charlie Rose the flying machines that can serve as delivery vehicles. The CEO said the gadgets, called octocopters, can carry as much as five pounds within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfillment center. Amazon may start using the drones, which can make a delivery within 30 minutes, within five years pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, Bezos said.

Amazon, Postal Service Team Up for Sunday Deliveries
November 11, 2013

Just in time for Christmas, Amazon.com and the U.S. Postal Service are teaming to make "every day an Amazon prime delivery day." The e-retailer announced Monday that it will be rolling out Sunday delivery services in Los Angeles and New York to customers who are eligible for free, two-day shipping. In 2014, the service will be expanded to the broader U.S., to include such cities as Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix. For the cash-strapped Postal Service, news of more deliveries for one of the biggest retailers of the internet age can't be that bad.

eBay to Expand Same-Day Delivery to 25 Cities in 2014
October 23, 2013

eBay on Tuesday said it plans to expand its same-day delivery service, dubbed eBay Now, to 25 cities next year, and it also launched a couple new features for its site that makes browsing more personalized. The company said eBay Now is now live in Chicago, and Dallas will follow within the following weeks. Next year, cities such as London will receive the service, bringing the total to 25. eBay already has offered same-day delivery in San Francisco and New York for about a year. 

Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Gear Up for Holidays With Permanent Free Shipping
October 2, 2013

Neiman Marcus Group is looking to revitalize its e-commerce business before the holiday season's fervor begins by offering permanent free shipping and returns year-round for all domestic purchases made through neimanmarcus.com and bergdorfgoodman.com as well as at retail locations. By removing some of the burdens that deter consumers from shopping online, Neiman Marcus may see a surge in e-commerce. Additionally, Neiman Marcus Group's move demonstrates that retailers are still adjusting to the digital sphere and determining the right balance between in-store and online.

Postal Service Asks for Emergency Price Increase
September 26, 2013

The U.S. Postal Service proposed on Wednesday to increase its rates more than the standard, inflation-based cap that typically constrains price bumps, citing its financial condition and the uncertainty of legislative action to justify the emergency measure. Known as an "exigent rate increase," the Postal Service Board of Governors must demonstrate to its regulatory body — the Postal Regulatory Commission — "either extraordinary or exceptional circumstances" that require higher rates.

A Critical Examination of the USPS Study of Postal Price Elasticities
September 25, 2013

There are problems with the U.S. Postal Service's analysis of postal price elasticities. The study lumps all types of mail together and concludes that raising postal rates will result in a net increase in revenue. The study downplays the nearly 10 to one difference in price elasticity between First Class mail and Carrier Route mail. The study defines price elasticity to mean that a cost increase will result in a short-term net increase in revenue because the revenue increase will be more than the lost mail volume.