Post Office to try same-day delivery

In a pilot now being conducted in San Francisco, the U.S. Postal Service is experimenting with a same-day delivery service of e-commerce packages. The project, called “Metro Post,” will begin on or about Dec. 12 in San Francisco and run for the next 12 months, according to John Friess, a public relations representative for the postal service.

If all goes well, the Post Office has selected more than two dozen cities that are large, densely populated metro areas that could support the Metro Post business model, according to Friess.

During the San Francisco test phase, consumers can place an online order with a participating retailer until 2 or 3 p.m. If they click “same-day delivery,” postal workers will then pick up the merchandise from nearby retail stores or warehouses for delivery to homes between 4 and 8 p.m. that day. Work hours, travel costsand package volume will be tracked and measured.

The Postal Service is working out agreements with eight to 10 national retail chains for the project, although the agency said its nondisclosure agreements don't allow it to reveal the companies. But the retailers must have a physical presence in 10 or more big U.S. cities to be a Metro Post partner, which narrows the list.

Other companies such as eBay, and Walmart already offer same-day delivery, usually for a flat $10 fee.

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