Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Feb 8 2014 20:20:35

USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

By: Ina Steiner

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The Office of Inspector General for the USPS found the Postal Service did not properly implement the pilot test of its same day delivery pilot program in San Francisco. The program, called Metro Post, will be suspended in that city by March 1, 2014, while the pilot in New York City continues. (Sources have told EcommerceBytes the New York pilot began in December with two customers that have both an online and a retail presence, it's unknown how many retailers are now participating.)

The Metro Post service enables customers to order products online by 2 pm from partnering retailers and receive their shipments the same day between 4 pm and 8 pm. Only 95 packages were sent by the six participating retailers over a 5-month period (as of June 2013), while the target was to have 200 packages per delivery day.



The cost of its same-day delivery service is up to the retailer from which the shopper is purchasing, and buyers can find the status of their deliveries through the Track and Confirm Tool on USPS.com. More information about Metro Post can be found in this Newsflash article from last year.

According to the report released by the OIG late last week, the Postal Service expected to enter into agreements with several large retailers, but only one large retailer agreed to participate in the pilot, and later withdrew prior to implementation due other operational priorities. "The Postal Service was left with small local retailers that could not produce the target daily package volume. The Postal Service earned $760 and incurred costs of $10,288, with a net loss of $9,528," according to the report.

San Francisco is actually a hot bed of same-day delivery testing, including eBay Now and Google Shopping Express. One wonders if retailers were pressured into exclusivity by other same-day delivery programs.

The Postal Service began the Metro Post Same Day Delivery pilot to gain a competitive edge in parcel delivery and planned to gather sufficient data during the pilot to determine whether to continue the service.

The report said officials plan to re-initiate the program in San Francisco when they can secure large retailers' participation. Officials have initiated the pilot in the New York District 5 where large retailers are participating.

"Although the pilot could provide some revenue opportunities for the Postal Service, we could not evaluate these opportunities because the pilot was not properly implemented."

Hat tip to PostalNews.com.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Feb 9 06:16:57 2014

Even at the local level, same-day delivery by an organisation such as the USPS would be problematic, unless they are going to start a separate business to do it, and charge near courier rates to cover the greater cost of doing so, and we all know that no one wants to pay courier rates …

Frankly, if anyone is so disorganized that they find themselves so desperately needing something delivered same day (same afternoon!), they should get on their bike and go and get it themselves …

It would appear that USPS has been listening to too many of the stories that Johnny Ho has brought back with him from his many trips with Alice down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Anyway, if the USPS is having trouble making this idea work, hand it over to Johnny Ho and he will solve the problem …

To paraphrase the man himself: He will take (another) “thinking day”, he’ll fill his white board with an assessment of the problem, step back and look at it from a holistic perspective, emerge with new insights and with greater clarity about what’s most important; then to remind himself of these insights, he will write them out, as he always does, into his personal priorities file and then carry that file with him everywhere he goes …

And, to quote the man himself: “Last year, for example, when I took an extended vacation as part of our company’s sabbatical program, I had some pretty transformational thoughts about reconnecting to our company’s purpose and setting ourselves on a good-to-great journey. I came back to work not just rested, but with more clarity and more conviction than I’ve had in years. This allowed me to share these transformational thoughts with our entire company which has re-energized our team and made me a more effective leader.”—John Donahoe, LinkedIn (15 Jul 2013)

And, don’t forget, Johnny Ho has “eBay Now” ready to go, and all those soon-to-be superfluous newspaper delivery trucks already lined up for just such an operation … LOL

And this inarticulate turkey is at the helm of a Fortune 500 company—unbelievable …

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Feb 9 09:10:16 2014

Frankly, buyers are being TOLD that they need it now. It just has not sunk in yet.

Those numbers don’t look good. All buyers must not be with the “need it now” cult mindset yet.
Perhaps if USPS & the pilot retailers offered a FREE & Fast shipping service (like many online sellers are told to do) one set of the numbers (parcel volume) would look better. Of course the profits would sink even further into negative territory. They spent $10,288 for $750 profit!!!

Just last week I needed a thumb drive ASAP – did it even occur to me that gee it would be nice to get one online and have it delivered to me that day? No- Never entered my mind.

Just hopped in the Basset family truckster and headed to the nearby Office Depot. Nabbed a few bargain thumb drives & other needed office supplies. Outta there and home – time consumed was about 20 minutes & costs at $22.  So – How much would immediate gratification have increased the cost?

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 9 09:13:30 2014

The post office can't get a birthday card to the little girl across the street in a week.

What makes them think they can get anything to anyone in one day.

The only way they can do that is if the person lives next door to the office.

Postal delivery service has become worst each year. They need to be declared bankrupty and sold to the highest bidderl

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 9 10:36:17 2014

Wonder if anyone got fired off that  stupid idea????

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 9 10:58:56 2014

Hey ... LAZY CODDLED CRYBABY BUYERS .... want it the same day?.... get off your lazy entitled butts and go to the store !

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Sun Feb 9 13:47:28 2014

The USPS should have utilized the excess capacity of intra-city newspaper delivery trucks ala Donahoe.

"The Postal Service earned $760 and incurred costs of $10,288, with a net loss of $9,528,"

The USPS brain trusts that came up with this idea are now working rural delivery routes in Impacted Colon, ID.

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Feb 9 15:40:40 2014

If buyers want their widgets the same day, then they should simply put on their big boy pants and visit the retail location that carries what they are looking for.

Unfortunately for Messers Bezos, Donahoe (eBay) and the other Donahoe (USPS), the mentality that if you build it they will come is a concept better left to celluloid fantasies as opposed to the real world of retail.

These organizations have it in their head that they can convince buyers that same day delivery is something we can not live without and they could not be more wrong in their thinking.

I believe this failed test by USPS puts the exclamation point on that concept. The logic of building a business model around a projected 200 packages and instead realizing an average of 80 packages a day in the largest metropolitan area of the United States is a sign of a company that is completely disconnected not just from their customers, but from reality.

If I had a company located in Manhattan, and my best customer absolutely, positively had to have their purchase today, I would arrange for a messenger service to handle the delivery for that customer on a one time basis and pass along the cost.

That one off isolated case would not inspire me to believe I could build a realistic business model around the concept of Same Day Deliveries.

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 10 02:51:17 2014

I personally think that the Post office should initiate an online payment service, similar to what's already out there.

They already sell money orders, and they once offered some sort of banking type service in their past.

The benefits to sellers could be HUGE. Think about it. You would have actual access to for real people processing your money.

POST OFFICE PEEPS!

The going rate for these services is approximately 30 cents per transaction and between 2 to 4% commission based upon the sale amount.

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Feb 10 03:18:43 2014

@Ric
''I believe this failed test by USPS puts the exclamation point on that concept. The logic of building a business model around a projected 200 packages and instead realizing an average of 80 packages a day in the largest metropolitan area of the United States is a sign of a company that is completely disconnected not just from their customers, but from reality.''

Maybe I read this wrong but it was a total of 95 packages in a five month period and NOT per day. The one retailer had 80 packages with same-day delivery in five months.

These execs are so out of touch with their outrageous compensations it has made them stupid. They beat up the mom & pops, who were huge buyers and then expect buyers will have money on hand to pay for same-day delivery. We have the disappearing middle class and an economy being sucked dry by these so-called 1%.  

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Feb 10 07:59:12 2014

Basset says "Frankly, buyers are being TOLD that they need it now. It just has not sunk in yet."

Exactly.  And they are being TOLD that they should expect free shipping as well.  

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 10 10:17:52 2014

I would love to hear the explanation by ebay how it is FREE. I am so tired of hearing that word. In no way shape or form is it free.  The cost is simply added to the product therefore how can it be ''free''.
Whatever possessed USPS for even looking at same day delivery in large cities is nothing but stupidity.  I was under the impression large cities such as NYC   already had couriers that picked up and delivered right away?? (or maybe that was just a movie?)  

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 10 11:23:03 2014

Thanks for the laugh.  

I needed it after the ongoing saga of my latest USPS debacle.

I mailed a small (6 oz)  package from NY to Kansas on 3 Jan.  Apparently the ZIP code ON the package was correct but somehow the ZIP Code on the Del Confirm was off.  So instead of going to Kansas it went to Ill where it was NOT delivered.  IT bounced between 7 DIFFERENT Mail Processing Centers--between NY and Ill and NJ and IL--several DIFFERENT ones---for a MONTH.  No number of phone calls online emails cases filed messages left at said processing centers or emails sent to said processing centers got one iota of attention from the USPS.  I called the national USPS number;  the local numbers;  the processing center numbers--which the PO will tell you--they don't HAVE phone numbers!  Oh they HAVE them they just won't ANSWER them!  Caller ID is a wonderful tool.

Well meanwhile I discovered that my customer---off ebay fortunatly!!!---was irate and canceled the payment.  OK I get this.  So since I had extras I sent a replacement---the guy wanted this some OTHER way than USPS but sadly I was NOT in the position to pay $15.00 for the SAME item it had cost me something like $3 to ship the FIRST time.  So I bumped it to Priority and gee whillikers GUESS what happened?

The TWO Packages arrived on the guys doorstep on the SAME day---it had taken EXACTLY a month to get the first package to him;  the second one took 4 days two of which were a Saturday and Sunday.  

And in the meanwhile PP took great GLEE in telling me that NEITHER ONE OF US (buyer and seller)  were protected as they had failed to "register"  their mailing address.  Now--none of us selling on ebay has heard this for a few YEARS now----but apparently OFF ebay this is still a way for PP to NOT actually PAY you.  I refused to re-ship until the buyer FIXED this on PP.  And re-paid me of course!  

And they WONDER why they are losing trust and oh yeah--money.  Being open every once in a while might HELP this gig too.  

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Mon Feb 10 12:53:04 2014

The USPS is been changing the "Acceptance Date" to 2 or 3 days after the actual date when packages were dropped to the post office, we have reported this to Endicia and told that they have nothing to do with this and that is a USPS move. I guess to look as if they deliver packages very fast.

The delay in package scanning is in many cases 2 to 4 days, not including weekends. If this is the way they are going to deliver same day, it a very bad trick, we drop packages Monday, they scan package Thursday and delivery Thursday, is that same day delivery?

They have to fix their scan issues before moving to same day delivery.

Check your tracking info for many packages and perhaps you will see that this is the new USPS trend. How is this affecting marketplace sellers? Well, customers go ballistic on you if they are given a tracking that is not scanned for days, they immediately accuse you of giving them a fake tracking or that you drop packages very late. We notice this issue happening in South Florida, New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas and some parts of New York. Do you have any issues in your area?

Can anyone share a direct contact info with the USPS top management so that we can ask about this new trend? Your help is appreciated and happy selling!

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 10 22:48:39 2014

USPS simply need to stop huge subsidies to Asian parcels. With the demise of hundreds of thousand US sellers, the base who are paying for the subsidies shrunk A LOT and the Asian sellers getting subsidies exploded in volume.  This is a double whammy!

USPS subsidies to Asian parcels must be put to the forefront discussion.  USPS must share the financial data to the American public and US lawmakers (who don't want the truth to come out)!

USPS Asian subsidies burden USPS financial status exponentially. It enslaves both postal workers and small US sellers.

Stop charging US small sellers 10 times more than our Asian competition.  The postage price should be same gram for gram.

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 10 23:25:01 2014

@theboost
  Call 1-800-ASK-USPS.  Ask for your regional post master general.  Or go ask a postal manager.  Just keep elevating it.
  In both cases, it could be pulling teeth.  But I had done it before.
  Why spent your precious time?  The guy at the top either had no clue or don't care talking to us.
To be fair to him, he is paid top money and it would be a waste with us directly.
 I noticed that USPS is posting tracking information late by several hours.  I think the postal clerk scan the item with their hand held scanner and did not dock it till it was running out of charge....
  You will be lucky if it is late.  If the charge is fully consumed before the postal clerk put it on the charging dock, the whole day data would be lost!
  I learned this from a friendly  postal clerk years ago.  So I hate if when others scan my scan form with the blue scanner.  All ask to have it scan directly by the computer scanner. And always ask for the printed receipt.
  With the blue scanner, the entry could be erased manually.. before it got docked.  So the parcel could be stolen this way.  I learned it from another postal clerk who refused to cooperate and threaten to have the entry erased  in the blue scanner he was holding.
 Just 2 days ago, I printed a label for a replacement at 7am after checking that item still at Sorting center for 7 days.  I submitted the replacement parcel at 9am.  But 1pm, my buyer reported that the item was returned to me.  I checked, the postal office scan the item at 5am.  So it was not till noon that the blue scanner was docked and data was transferred.  

To continue my rant... I wasted $2 to reprint a new postage.  USPS ruined the recipient address on the parcel... I could have just reprinted the address and sent back the old parcel...

After over a century, USPS still could not figure how to properly process parcels to give timely update.  I think the postal clerk should dock the blue scanner at least once every hour or every 30 minutes.... NOT AFTER 6 hours or after out of charge.

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Tue Feb 11 10:29:15 2014

Hello PowerSeller2007, I appreciate your comments and help. This is exactly what I have been told a few times but in our case is days, on average 3 to 5 days later than the actual drop date. It is a shame because we have a good relation with the USPS staff but they are so many that it is impossible to know who is doing this to our parcels. We have a few locations and we notice this "no scan" or "scan very late" trend in some regions in New Jersey, South Florida, Illinois, Texas and NY. It looks like they hold packages or even hide them for entire shits. Today we are starting a formal complaint with a lot documentation and if this post is still open for comment I will post the updates in a few days. This is causing a lot of issues with customers which claim that we gave them a fake tracking number. Thank you for your reply and comments and happy selling!  

Perminate Link for USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco   USPS Ends Same-Day Delivery Pilot in San Francisco

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Mar 19 00:01:06 2014

Postal Service is LYING. Our UPS parcels are Way Down. USPS parcels are WAY WAY UP.



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