Updated from 8:55 a.m. EST to provide additional analysis in the eleventh paragraph.
In a press release early Monday morning, Amazon announced it would be using the United States Postal Service to help deliver packages in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas on Sundays. Amazon and the Postal Service said the service would be rolled out further in the U.S., going to major metropolitan cities in 2014 including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.
"As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday," said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer in the press release. "With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides."Amazon, led by CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos, has continued to expand its offerings in innovative new ways that show the online e-commerce giant thinks about its business in ways others do not. Amazon has set up delivery lockers in certain stores around the country, and also recently set up mini-distribution centers in Procter & Gamble (PG) plants to ship directly to customers, continuing to cut down on costs and increase speed in which buyers receive their goods. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, Amazon's deal with the Postal Service will provide a much-needed revenue boost for the government agency. It's been mired in declining revenue, as a result of slowing mail volume, for years. The Postal Service, which generates all of its revenue from the sale of stamps and services, has been on the brink of closing its doors, and could wind up needing a bailout from the federal government, as Congress makes the agency pre-fund its health care benefits to postal workers. The decision by Amazon to bypass UPS (UPS - Get Report) and FedEx (FDX) is a curious one, given the two logistics giants handle so many of Amazon's packages already. Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment as to why neither the Atlanta-based UPS or Memphis-based FedEx were not chosen. Investors did not appear worried about the long-term health of the two shipping giants, though. Shares of both UPS and FedEx were slightly higher in Monday trading, despite the news.