As Amazon continues to expand its market share, it’s not uncommon to see the company’s blue delivery vans pretty much everywhere you go.
However, while your package will usually come out of an Amazon-branded vehicle, there are times when it will come from your USPS letter carrier. So, if you’re wondering why this happens, check out our article to find the answer!
Does Amazon Deliver Through USPS In 2023?
Amazon has contracted with USPS to deliver some of its packages since 2013. While specifics about the percentage of Amazon packages delivered by USPS are not publicly available, some analysts estimate that it’s around 40% in 2023. This arrangement allows Amazon to save money on shipping and gives USPS a much-needed revenue boost.
Read the rest of this article to find out how the Amazon-USPS partnership works, along with other related facts and tips!
Does Amazon Use USPS for Delivery?
E-commerce giant Amazon has been using USPS for some of its deliveries since 2013.
Amazon declines to comment on what percentage of its packages are delivered through USPS.
For illustrative purposes, one letter carrier noted that 75 to 80% of the weekday packages he delivered came from Amazon.
What’s more, nearly all of the Sunday deliveries he completed were Amazon packages (Priority Mail Express is the only other service USPS delivers on Sundays).
Why Does Amazon Use USPS for Delivery?
Amazon partnered with USPS because it makes good business sense.
While it’s true that Amazon has built up a huge logistics and fulfillment operation around the country, sometimes it’s still cheaper to pass off last-mile deliveries to USPS.
This is especially true in rural areas. Amazon has yet to expand its delivery capabilities in these areas and relies on USPS’ extensive delivery network to reach far-flung addresses.
Indeed, delivery to rural locations costs Amazon 1.5 to 4 times more than delivery to urban homes.
Therefore, it’s in Amazon’s best interest to save money wherever possible by working with USPS.
On the USPS side of things, working with Amazon has helped the postal service stay afloat in the midst of declining mail volume and frequent budget cuts.
In fact, prior to the arrangement, USPS was losing $16 billion per year, whereas in 2017, 4 years after the collaboration started, USPS reported a net loss of only $2.7 billion.
How Does Amazon Deliver Through USPS?
Amazon’s delivery network is made up of fulfillment centers, where inventory is stored, sorted, packaged, and labeled for shipping.
Underneath the fulfillment centers are sortation centers.
These are regional hubs that receive packages from fulfillment centers, sort them by ZIP code, and ship them to a delivery partner like USPS.
Once packages arrive at local post offices, USPS employees handle the last-mile package deliveries.
Is There a Way to Get Amazon Not to Use USPS?
Some Amazon customers report missing, late, or damaged Amazon packages when USPS handles the shipments.
For this reason, some wonder if it’s possible to select an alternate carrier when buying from Amazon.
It seems like, in general, changing carriers is not possible, although some customers have been successful in avoiding USPS.
One easy way to do so is to buy from sellers that don’t ship with USPS. Similarly, you can pay for expedited shipping and avoid USPS altogether.
Another option is to have your package shipped to an Amazon Locker and pick it up yourself.
If none of these are options, you can try calling Amazon’s customer service center to request an alternate carrier.
Customer service may be able to accommodate your request as long as your order is fulfilled by Amazon directly and not a third-party seller.
Is Amazon Going to Stop Using USPS?
While Amazon relies a great deal on USPS, the company is quickly moving towards autonomous delivery (i.e. meeting its shipping needs without outside help).
As of 2020, Amazon was shipping 67% of its own packages directly to customers, which is up from 50% in 2019.
This trend will continue, with some industry insiders estimating that Amazon will be shipping 85% of its own packages by 2023.
Amazon is able to rely less on other carriers thanks to its growing network of last-mile delivery centers across North America.
These serve as the final stop before a package is sent out to a customer’s doorstep.
Keeping last-mile deliveries within the Amazon network will not only improve the traceability of packages, but it will likely be cheaper, especially in urban areas.
That said, it’s unlikely that Amazon will completely cut ties with USPS.
In fact, analysts predict that Amazon will likely cap out at shipping 80% to 90% of its own packages.
Therefore, it will continue to rely on third-party carriers like USPS to fill in tough-to-reach geographic areas or to meet sudden spikes in demand.
Amazon uses USPS for approximately 40% of its last-mile deliveries. This allows the e-commerce company to reach every postal service customer, while still keeping costs down.
This relationship is also beneficial to USPS, as it provides much-needed revenue to the struggling quasi-governmental agency.