Sunday, October 14, 2012

Could The Post Office Be The Big Winner in Same Day Delivery?

An interesting development in the "same day delivery wars" which has been brewing as of late with Amazon and Wal-Mart.  The key question is who is going to do this from a delivery standpoint and who can do it at a very low cost?

Already, the USPS gets something to you for about .45 cents which FEDEX may charge you $5.00 or more.  Granted, they get it faster however with just a small amount of pre-planning you can change that $5.00+ charge to .45.  Most of what FEDEX is charging us for is a premium for our inefficiency and lack of planning.

Enter the USPS in the same day shipping.  As we know, the infrastructure costs for same day shipping are massive (advantage Wal-mart over Amazon since Wal-Mart has essentially 4500 distribution centers) and thus usually make it economically impractical. The USPS has some interesting, already in place, advantages:

  1. Huge infrastructure - generally an office in every town regardless of size
  2. Already mandated to go to just about every house every day in the Country
  3. Will pick up as well as delivery and usually without an appointment. 
  4. If you are not home, the trip to the USPS is generally very short (FEDEX for example has pulled out of my small town.  If I am not home when a FEDEX shipment comes and I want it I have to drive 1/2 hour to get it.. my post office is less than 1 mile away)
With some sophisticated routing tools, the USPS could, in a town, sweep the town to pick up the deliveries, bring to their "cross dock" then conduct the deliveries at night.  In some cases they can incorporate the delivery into their already established routes and in others they can utilize the equipment which is just sitting anyway.

This should be fun to watch!

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