Federal authorities have given approval for the U.S. Postal Service to commence a two-year test of a customized delivery program for grocery e-tailers.
The USPS began operational tests on such a service earlier this year in partnership with AmazonFresh in San Francisco. The Postal Regulatory Commission approved a further test allowing for USPS to work with retail partners to deliver bins of groceries to customer homes between 3 and 7 a.m.
The commission said it would cap the revenues the service could reap from the test to $10 million, but said the USPS could ask for an exemption to exceed that amount. In its petition, the USPS said it was likely the test would generate at least that much.
The commission determined that the new service would not cause disruption for existing grocery delivery services, as alleged in an objection to the test by a group known as the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
The USPS has been delivering groceries to 38 ZIP codes around San Francisco in the test with Amazon. It said the test “is designed for retailers to deliver groceries and other prepackaged goods in a customized delivery window, tailored to their unique offerings and customer base. In addition to testing the operational feasibility of customized delivery windows, this market test will also assist the Postal Service in determining the optimal pricing structure for this type of service.”
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