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USPS and the tech giants

As the tech industry continues to grow, the USPS is playing a major role. How? Through expanded delivery services for companies like Amazon and Netflix.

 
Dependable, reliable, in rain or shine, the Postal Service is there, delivering your mail. And for the past couple of years, this includes Sunday package delivery.

With the tech industry on the rise, the established mail delivery services are playing a major role. Rather than allowing technology to replace them, mail providers are shifting their business options and services.

Now, customers do not have to wait for their Amazon order to show up on Monday. Amazon, from one of its 50 distribution warehouses in the U.S., sends the package to one of the 15 package-sorting facilities that goes out to the local post office.

Why would a large company like Amazon rely on the USPS for their shipping needs? Amazon is able to sort and process orders themselves, before the packages are given to the Postal Service for delivery. Experts estimate that Amazon pays $2 per package to the USPS for delivery – nearly half the cost of going through UPS or FedEx for their shipping and handling. Shipping industry analysts suggest that Amazon uses USPS for about 40 percent of its deliveries (with UPS at 20-25 percent and FedEx at 15-20 percent). You may not be mailing many letters anymore, but the tech companies still rely on the trusted USPS to get you your Amazon purchase.

Amazon is not the only company that relies on the USPS, though. Although Netflix lives mostly in the land of streaming, the DVD side of the business still exists. Four years ago, Netflix split their business into two divisions – one focusing on the future of a streaming service and the one with the DVD delivery service, which is still in high demand with 5.3 million subscribers. As Netflix vies for the newest and best content, they still have advantages for having a physical disc library. As one article puts it, “[Netflix’s] huge DVD library, its national network of super-efficient warehouses and its deep relationship with the U.S. Postal Service – the kind of relationship you get when you’re the Post Office’s biggest customer – probably will never be replicated” (Bloomberg).

In an age of streaming, why might a customer rely on the DVDs to come through the mail? For one, the immediacy of streaming Netflix is not conducive to many people’s lifestyles. The Pew Research Center reports that 25 million Americans do not have regular Internet access. Many Americans live in rural areas with spotty Internet access, and as anyone who has semi-reliable Internet connections can attest to, streaming takes up a lot of bandwidth. Subscribing to the DVDs not only gives you many, many options in the Netflix library (surpassing 93,000 titles), but the quality of the videos is just that much better. Most DVDs are Blu-rays, meaning the best sound and video quality out there. Most of these titles you can get within the next day, too, so if you are looking for high quality and willing to wait a bit longer than the immediate click-and-watch model, give the packaged-and-delivered model a try.

Next time you get that Amazon package or get ready to binge watch your favorite Netflix show, remember, it might be a tech-centered, streaming world, but you’ve still got mail.

For more information:
It’s Amazon’s World. The USPS Just Delivers in It
Netflix and DVDs, Still Together
Yes, People Still Use Netflix’s DVD Service: But Why?

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