Over the last 9 months, more and more of my packages from Amazon are being sent via USPS. Before writing this post, I did some Googling and it appears I’m not alone and this is some big political thing right now but basically over the years, USPS has done a better job in both pricing and tracking technology. I personally have not switched to USPS and still us UPS but I’m thinking more and more that those days are soon over. USPS has just gotten really good at competing with UPS. FedEx is not even playing ball and that’s okay. I don’t like their business model, pricing, tracking and the fact that they’re basically 8 different companies with 8 different shipping products and they hate dealing with boxes (letters are their bread & butter sent overnight).
Anyway, here’s my inbound shipments today:
This is a huge contrast from even 6 months ago when every single inbound box was UPS. Last month, I made a remark to my delivery driver whose Toyota Sienna (we are rural so mail carriers don’t have USPS trucks, they use their own vehicles and are reimbursed) and his van was full floor to ceiling with Amazon boxes and then a small little box of letters.
Prior too Fall of 2017, his route was a full time job but now, he’s working 2-3 hours a day more every day. His deliveries to me used to come at noon and now come at 3PM because he has to get out of his car for any box that doesn’t fit in a mailbox and put it at the door and it takes an extra hour to load the van. That and some days, he has to return to the post office to grab more boxes and I’ve noticed actually boxes not showing as “out for delivery’ until 1PM as he goes back and grabs more.
Last month (March 2018), they are now employing a small SUV truck that ONLY delivers Amazon boxes. The local branch doesn’t receive extra money for that employee or the mileage on their car. They’re losing money but the delivery guarantees would be missed if they didn’t hire this additional car so now I get amazon deliveries at noon and real mail at 1:30PM.
So, again before I did any research on this, I thought this was just a rural mail thing where UPS was charging Amazon way too much because in my area, trucks sometimes drive 30 miles to make a delivery because we’re so remote and gas surcharges were killing them. USPS with more locations (10 offices for our one UPS center due to federal law which requires USPS have an office in every town) didn’t charge fuel so of course Amazon is saving money by using USPS which is a good thing once this pain period goes away. The post office’s volumes must be higher than ever. They lose the box delivery business 2 decades ago to UPS / FedEx and never got it back..well now they have the largest shipper in the world using them for boxes.
It just appears that someone high up took on the Amazon contract at USPS but never properly estimated the impact is has nationally to offices like mine where there’s one postmaster, 5 carriers and 1 window clerk.
One final anecdote. I was getting UPS boxes last late as 8PM 5 days a week (not just during holidays) and now I’m getting them at 6PM again like I used to. This shows me that Amazon’s drop in using UPS locally has pretty much shifted the hours 100% to USPS. The only packages that come via UPS now are dog food or other heavy items exceeding 20 pounds. Small stuff comes via the post office. Great for the post office’s long term health but they’re bleeding cash right now to keep up with the volume.
Something needs to happen.
I’m not a post office expert, and this post is not a result any media news. In fact, I didn’t know anything about USPS / Amazon and Trump’s involvement before writing this. Interesting to know I’m not alone in this observation.