Postal Service, Amazon to Team Up on Sundays

(Los Angeles Times/MCT) - Giant  retailer Amazon is turning up the heat on rivals this year-end shopping season and beyond under a new deal with the U.S. Postal Service for delivering packages on Sundays.

Starting this week, the postal service will bring Amazon packages on Sundays to shoppers’ doors in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas at no extra charge. Next year, it plans to roll out year-round Sunday delivery to Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities.

Getting packages on Sundays normally is expensive for customers. United Parcel Service Inc. doesn’t deliver on Sundays, according to a spokeswoman. And FedEx Corp. said Sunday “is not a regular delivery day,” though limited options are available.

The deal could be a boon for the postal service, which has been struggling with mounting financial losses and has been pushing to limit general letter mail delivery to five days a week.

Spokeswoman Sue Brennan said that letter mail volume is declining “so extremely,” yet package volume is “increasing in double-digit percentages.”

The postal service’s Sunday package delivery business has been very small, but the arrangement with Amazon for two of the retailer’s larger markets, Los Angeles and New York, should boost work considerably.

To pull off Sunday delivery for Amazon, the postal service plans to use its flexible scheduling of employees, Brennan said. It doesn’t plan to add employees, she said.