Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Commission approves grocery delivery testing

October 24, 2014 02:55 PM

Letter carriers in the San Francisco Bay area may soon begin delivering groceries as part of a newly approval market test.

The Postal Regulatory Commission approved the two-year-long tests Oct. 23, but did not agree to allow the United States Postal Service to initially spend more than $10 million a year testing the idea.

The commission said it needed more information before waiving its $10 million limit on any new postal product or service.

On Aug. 18, the Postal Service began testing for early morning grocery delivery in 38 ZIP codes, the commission said in approving further testing.

It also held that the prices USPS plans to charge for the deliveries are in the range of charges currently made by grocery delivery firms in the San Francisco Bay area.

As a result, the commission declared that the new system “is unlikely to provide the Postal Service or [any] … retail partner an unfair or inappropriate competitive advantage.

“Moreover, the prices charged by the Postal Service for Customized Delivery will have limited impact since they will only be effective for the duration of the market test,” the commission said.

More details about the customized delivery tests were published in an article in the Oct. 25 Linn’s and can be read here.