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Amazon Against Post Office Ending Saturday Mail Delivery. Netflix Ok With it.

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As you may know, there is talk that the U.S. Postal Service could end mail delivery on Saturdays. Internet companies that ship items to consumers don’t all have the same opinion on this matter, as is evidenced by comments from Amazon and Netflix.

Paul Misener, Amazon VP for Global Public Policy gave a testimony at a hearing in Washington on the future of the U.S. Postal Service (hat tip to Eric Engleman). Here are some notable quotes from that (the entire statement can be read here):

United States Postal Service - Will it really end Saturday Delivery?"Amazon enjoys a strong and extensive relationship with the Postal Service. The USPS is an integral part of the service we provide our customers. Globally, we spent well over a billion dollars last year on outbound shipping – an increase of over 20% from 2008. In dollars, we spend nine figures annually on the USPS, with over two million shipments per average week via the Postal Service."

"Our customers have come to appreciate and expect Saturday delivery, and this is an instance where the USPS currently maintains a decided advantage over other carriers."

"We believe this is a bad idea. Not only would it be bad for parcel shippers, who would face higher costs to reach their urban and suburban customers on Saturday, it would be even worse for rural consumers and for the USPS itself."

"While they may be willing to wait until Monday or Tuesday for a bill they don’t really want; an advertisement they didn’t ask for; or a magazine to which they subscribed long ago; they expect the items they purchased this week to be delivered as soon as possible."

Netflix takes a different view. "A well-functioning Postal Service, positioned over the long haul to meet changing customer and consumer demand, is more important than maintaining current delivery frequency," said Netflix chief service and DVD operations officer, Andrew Rendich, at that hearing. (via Bloomberg Businessweek)

While Netflix certainly accounts for a great deal of mail deliveries around the country, its interests are quite different than those of Amazon’s, so the difference in opinion isn’t that hard to believe.

For one, Netflix believes the future is in streaming when it comes to movies, and it would just as soon have customers using its streaming service more. In fact, the company is making deals with distributors to bolster their streaming catalog. Don’t be surprised if streaming becomes the main business model for the company in the future.

At the same time, it is also in Netflix’s best interest for customers to rent a lower rate of DVDs by mail. This means less shipping costs for them while they get to charge the same amount to customers. Amazon on the other hand wants to get its products to customers as quickly as possible to keep them ordering more.

What do you think about the idea of Saturday mail delivery coming to an end? Are you for it or against it? Discuss here.

Amazon Against Post Office Ending Saturday Mail Delivery. Netflix Ok With it.
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  • Guest

    Easy solution: just charge more. Heck, I’m no economist, but I think we should even have Sunday service if it’s possible. And it would be possible if you charge high enough for special deliveries.

  • http://sstahlman.blogspot.com Seth Stahlman

    I live in a rural area; UPS and FedEx don’t deliver on Saturdays. The weekends are sometimes the only time people can pick up their mail.

    The upshot, of course, since people use email instead of letters these days and basically use USPS for parcels anyway, will probably be that NewEgg, Amazon, et al. will just start contracting out local deliveries to individuals.

    Could be simple; buy some planes, have people pick up packages at hubs, and drive ‘em out for delivery… cause streaming’s nice, but sometimes, you need dead metal.

    Think how much it’d help the economy if you could get paid [x] a day just to pick up a bunch of packages and deliver them; the more you deliver, the more you get paid. We might get our goods sooner.

    Come to think of it, maybe it is time to say good riddance to the USPS. They totally jumped the shark when they stopped using ponies, ya know.

  • charlie

    As a 27 year city letter carrier for the post office i believe that eliminating saturday mail delivery would be good for the customer as well as the post office. Customers would not have the mail to concern themselves with on saturday. Mail carriers could have the majority of the mail delivered by friday and in most cases deliver the rest on monday. I agree with Amazon partly, but they almost always use the least expensive method of shipping we offer. Our expidited services such as priority mail are still much cheaper than Fed Express and UPS. If we could get Amazon to use this service more, saturday delivery would be less meaningful to them and us. Perhaps we could even offer Amazon a discount on priority mail. If we cannot, we are still cheaper than most other delivery people. The advantage of using an expidited service could be even more sails as their customers would receive the merchandise sooner, and quite possibly order more merchandise sooner. Eliminating a day of delivery could save the postal service billions, and if shippers would use the expidited services, it would be a plus for the post office and all concerned.