The Collegian
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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USPS-Amazon agreement might affect campus post office

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has reached an agreement with online conglomerate Amazon to deliver the company's orders to customers on Sundays.

Although this will be beneficial for customers around the country, the change might have minimal impact on University of Richmond students, said Jodi Will, manager of mail services at the Heilman Center Post Office.

Even though most of the student packages that Will and her team process are Amazon orders, the packages are delivered by a variety of carriers, she said. Some packages arrive from USPS, but others come from FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS).

But the overall majority of Amazon packages are delivered to Richmond by LaserShip, Will said. LaserShip is a delivery company based in New York that delivers packages all over the East Coast, according to the company's website.

Will said: "I have someone working for eight hours on Saturday, and someone else for another eight on Sunday. But we still close at noon on the weekends, so I'm not sure how much the new Sunday delivery will be affecting Richmond students."

In a 2009 report published on USPS' website, "Toward a New Business Model for the United States Postal Service," the mail carrier's recent financial losses are attributed to decreased paper mail in favor of electronic correspondence and the national economic downturn.

"Curiously, the same Internet technology that has undercut mail volume through the electronic diversion has also opened up some new opportunities through the expansion of postal shipping by such online provider of goods as ... Amazon.com," according to the report.

But the report later states, "the shipping of larger objects ordered on Amazon ... is a highly competitive business in which USPS still faces competition from UPS and FedEx."

In a USA Today article, postmaster general Patrick Donahoe stated: "It will certainly help. The fastest growing segment is the package business. The future of package delivery is a seven-day-a-week schedule. We've got the capacity to do it."

Sunday deliveries will not cost any additional fee. Amazon Prime members, who are guaranteed free two-day shipping, will be able to place orders on Friday and receive them by Sunday, according to USA Today. Amazon members who do not have the Prime service will be eligible for free five- to eight-day shipping on orders of at least $35.

The service has already begun in Los Angeles and New York and will expand to other major U.S. cities by next year, according to the USA Today article.

Contact reporter Renee Ruggeri at renee.ruggeri@richmond.edu

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