Friday, January 8, 2010

Postal Service Sundays

One of the biggest issues that has puzzled me for months if not years is: Why dont we get mail on Sundays? In today's digital age with the rise of e-commerce why is there a one day break every week in our mail. Not many people seem to complain about it, yet everyone I discuss this with agree with me. I already paid my taxes-how much more will it cost me to get mail on Sunday?

Let me start out with an example. One of my favorite websites is Amazon.com. Crammer yesterday on Mad Money called it "the Walmart of the Internet" which to a certain extent is true. Amazon has mastered and perfected a system of housing large inventories around the country and shipping it to the customer with almost no delay. When people want to buy something, they do not want to have to wait and longer than they have to. I can't remember a single item I have purchased on Amazon within the last year that took longer than 2-3 days to arrive to me-in many cases, it was the next day. Amazon has done everything it could to get the product to the customer as fast as possible, the Postal Services not delivering on Sunday is out of Amazon's hands.

Many stores have started an "in store pickup" feature where customers can buy products and pick them up in the stores. This is great considering it is faster for people who want the product and cheaper that you don't have to pay for gas. However it is still an inconvenience to go to the store to pick up the item, it defeats the purpose of buying it online-why waste the time online?

If the postal service were to deliver on Sunday, would it really hurt them? I understand USPS is a government service so they are closed for government holidays, but buses and trains still run on Sunday; Police still operate on Sunday; Almost every retailer having an online store is open on Sundays-Whats wrong with Postal People. From my knowledge, UPS, FedEX or DHL do not have deliveries on Sundays, and if they do it probably costs more than the item being purchased. This issue is not just limited to USPS. I read a report that USPS has had a decrease in profits and have had to shut down Post Offices and relieve workers. Is it really that hard to figure out why they are loosing business? It doesn't take a genius to tell their rates are high and their services is slow. Staying open on Sundays may even help postal services increase business.

In my view with more and more people buying products online, this is a serious problem! As a business student, this situation appears to be a complete economic inefficiency as slow shipping can discourage people to buy products online and hurt online retailers. Now the issue that bothers me the most is that online retailers try so hard to increase online sales and sell as much as they can, but the biggest issue people (including myself) find with buying things online is slow shipping and terribly high costs. Of course, transport of so many items is no easy task however if the Postal services made deliveries faster and on Sunday, there would not be a one day break in 24 hours online retailing and more people would buy more products online. E-commerce is a huge portion of the United States economy, this simple change could drive increase productivity and profitability off the charts.

Maybe I'm just mad my speakers are in the mail and taking forever.