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US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon 258

Posted by samzenpus
from the rain-shine-or-weekend dept.
guttentag writes "The New York Times is reporting The USPS has struck a deal to deliver Amazon's packages on Sundays — a first for both. The Postal Service, which lost nearly $16 billion last year, often loses money on first-class mail delivery, but package delivery is profitable. The Postal Service said it expected to make more such deals with other merchants, seeking a larger role in the $186 billion e-commerce market. For this holiday shopping season, Sunday delivery of Amazon products will be limited to the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas. In 2014 it is expected to expand to other cities including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix."
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US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:05AM (#45390611)

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/blog/2012/08/us-postal-services-forced-financial-crisis

    In 2006 – Republicans in Congress passed a poison pill piece of legislation forcing the Post Office to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years out into the future – basically funding benefits for future employees who aren’t even born yet. The Postal Service has to do this by giving the Treasury $5.5 billion every single year. That’s a requirement that no business, or any government agency has ever had to comply with. And it’s the reason why the Post Office is going bankrupt today and looking into closing down post offices, laying off workers, and cutting down delivery service.

    • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:13AM (#45390657)

      Across the Western world, it has been the Right's strategy to privatise popular public services by first deliberately ruining them. Then public perception changes toward, "Oh wow you're right state ownership doesn't work!"

      Occasionally, this comes at a cost to human life, such as Thatcher's deliberate underinvestment in the railways, followed by Major's spinning off of Railtrack without any clear identification as to who is responsible for maintenance. But usually it's just a huge fucking waste of money, and the privatised industry ends up enjoying multiple subsidies and regulatory capture.

      • by jaymz666 (34050) on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:36AM (#45390835)

        let's also remember the current post office is protected from many searches by the government, private entities are not. That is also a driving force here.

    • by bradley13 (1118935) on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:16AM (#45390693) Homepage

      This, of course, it pretty much the way it ought to be, at least for current employees: Retirement benefits fully funded, instead of vague promises.

      Of course, since this money is paid to the government, instead of being put in an independent fund, the government will just steal it and replace it with IOUs

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:23AM (#45390743)

      They are losing $16 billion a year because they pay out $5.5 billion a year for future pensions?

      Bad math is bad math. If they didn't fund pensions at all, I guess you should expect future tax payers to just pay that, they are STILL behind $10.5 billion a year. Is that a success for your?

      Also note, this bill was passed with STRONG bipartisan support as a way to show private business that pensions should be fully funded and how to do it. Revisionist history is revisionist history.

    • by Shavano (2541114) on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:24AM (#45390753)

      Originally, the USPS was a government service, subsidized where necessary. It wasn't designed to operate as a private business or to make money. It was OK if it lost money because it was an overall boon to the economy. It worked fine that way for 200 years before it was privatized.

      Now it's expected to operate as a private business and turn a profit in the existence of a competive marketplace while bound by rules and financial burdens its competitors do not have to bear. FedEx and UPS do not have to deliver anywhere they don't want to, to deliver on any days they don't want to; they have unregulated rates, don't subsidize anything and don't have to pre-fund retirement benefits.

      It's a recipe for destruction. It might be saved by completely removing all regulations OR by giving it real subsidies in exchange for the regulations it bears that its competitors do not. It can't go on the way it is.

      • Do not discount the impact of the Internet on the declining use of traditional mail services, or the fact that almost half of what is delivered is junk mail [wikipedia.org], almost all of which just gets thrown away. You can't only blame privatization while completely ignoring the most significant advance in communications technology in human history. Let's face it -- traditional mail services just aren't important as they were before the Internet.
        • by SScorpio (595836)

          Nope, but the USPS has seen a drastic increase in the number of packages which carry higher postage charges. When teleportation/replication becomes widespread, that's when they will need to worry.

    • I see this posted over and over again but nobody can explain why it was passed or why the Democrats never tried to stop it.

    • by Vermifax (3687) on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:34AM (#45390815)

      Well, while it was signed by a republican president and sponsored by a republican, it was cosponsored by 2 dems and a republican. It also passed house with a voice vote, and the senate with a unanimous vote.

      This was a completely bipartisan bill that our whole government went in on.

      Even the postal unions were for this (Why I have no idea).

      • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Monday November 11, 2013 @11:02AM (#45391101) Homepage

        Because it actually forces the pensions to be funded - it's obvious why the union would like it.

        Look at the cities going bankrupt in California, as an example. It's unfunded pension liabilities that are dragging them down. The USPS is being forced to actually make good on their promises, otherwise we'll have to bail out their pension fund in the future. The gripe (somewhat legit) is that they're being singled out for this treatment while every other government agency with promises that are going to be broken aren't given this treatment.

        • by cusco (717999)

          otherwise we'll have to bail out their pension fund in the future.

          You mean like we did for every major airline in the country?

      • Well, while it was signed by a republican president and sponsored by a republican, it was cosponsored by 2 dems and a republican. It also passed house with a voice vote, and the senate with a unanimous vote.

        That doesn't mean as much as you think it does. Perhaps to the surprise of nobody, our lawmakers rarely read the full text of the bill they vote on, instead trusting their underlings to summarize it. Sometimes hundred page documents get about as much space as a Twitter post in the mindspace of these guys before they vote on it. And you might have noticed... the names are less and less related to the thing they're about with every new session. At this point, I fully expect to see a Strengthing America's Freedom Act authorizing labor camps and bringing back debtor's prisons in the not too distant future. :/

        So there is that. And the argument can be made that whether it was the Republicans or the Democrats... the result rather speaks for itself. Also, questionable what difference there really is between the two parties... since right now over 93% of candidates who win elections are better financed than their opponent. It's clear there really is only one political party: The Richy McRich Club. What colors you wanna wear they leave up to you, but ultimately, both parties are just part of one organization that's only really distinct in the minds of the poor and the uneducated.

        But the OP is right: It was fine before it was shot in the head by our government.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Well, while it was signed by a republican president and sponsored by a republican, it was cosponsored by 2 dems and a republican. It also passed house with a voice vote, and the senate with a unanimous vote.

        This was a completely bipartisan bill that our whole government went in on.

        No, it was a monopartisian bill. A perfect example of how there is really just one party in Washington.

    • by gr8_phk (621180)
      Whatever their cost, they should charge appropriately. First class mail should not be losing money. Bulk mail should cost more but instead they neglect the delivery cost, claiming the mail person will be making the stop anyway. If USPS is losing money it's because it's used to subsidize marketing for business. If the low cost mail wasn't there I think I'd only get actual first class about 2-3 days a week, so those other 3-4 stops are really for mail that they charge next to nothing for.
    • by will_die (586523) on Monday November 11, 2013 @10:48AM (#45390977) Homepage
      Please stop repeating this lie, granted it is repeated enough on alot of hate sites. For you it was probably a mistake since you did not know the truth.
      Congress want to protect the taxpayer from having to take over the duties that the USPS said they would do,back in the 70s, the postmaster general and the postal unions want to make the taxpayers pay for their poor management and keep things as they are.
      The postal accountability law,2006, requires the USPS to actually do some proper financial management and dropping it would not make them competitive again; even ignore the money they owe for this they would of lost money for the last couple of years. Without the money set aside they would not be able the meet the obligations they agreed to back in the 1970s and the people who retiring now would not have the monies that they are suppose to get. Privatization would solve nothing of this since the obligations would follow the person who purchased the company.
      BTW the 75 years is number of years that is for ACCOUNTING purposes they have to figure future liabilities. It is NOT how long they have to fund benefits. That 75 years of accounting is followed by the DoD, social security, department of Housing, etc.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      $5.5 billion is a lot of money... however the USPS lost about $15.9 billion last year.

      http://todaynewsgazette.com/usps-losses-2012/ [todaynewsgazette.com]

  • I got a Sunday package delivery via USPS from Newegg.

    https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction_input?origTrackNum=4200705492748901015478100001164480 [usps.com]

    the 10th(yesterday) was a Sunday, kind of weirded me out when I got a knock on my door and a package was dropped off.

    • by cusco (717999)

      Sunday and holiday delivery is available, for an extra cost. I've never seen Newegg pay the extra, did the screw up your order and this was their way of apologizing? Or maybe they had guaranteed delivery in x-many days and it was getting close?

  • I remember the USPS advertising Sunday delivery for Express Mail quite a long time ago -- ten years or more, I think.

    Still advertised today: http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/express.htm [usps.com]. A bit more digging indicates that there's a $12.50 surcharge for Sunday/holiday delivery.

    So, since USPS was already offering Sunday delivery, the news here must be some favorable pricing terms for Amazon. Which, of course, they're not going to specify in detail.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday November 11, 2013 @12:29PM (#45391877)

    My mailbox is filled with junk mail every day. In fact, I bet I get 3-4X as much junk mail as I do legitimate mail. I probably get 1-2 newspaper-like ads every week from grocers that I've probably never opened.I bet the USPS would start making money if they started charging these guys closer to regular rates. Well, assuming they can't get the pension pre-funding fixed in Congress.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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