The pros and cons of Sunday delivery

by | Dec 10, 2015 | 3PLs, Omnichannel, Retailers, Solutions, Suppliers

If you’re “of a certain age,” then you probably remember when malls weren’t open on Sunday and stores closed at 6 p.m. during the week. But if you were to share this part of retail history with your kids or grandkids, they either won’t believe you or will feel sorry you had to live in such an era.

SPS-Pro-Con-Sunday-Delivery-smThese younger generations are used to living in a world where UPS and the USPS make deliveries every day of the week, including Sundays, to ensure consumers will receive their orders and shipments a few calendar days after they place their orders.

Thanks to Amazon’s Sunday delivery program and a general increase in e-commerce, both USPS and UPS are extra busy this holiday season, with no days off for many employees. As you might expect, this is drawing both positive and negative feedback from the public.

The Pros of Sunday Delivery

On the one hand, Sunday delivery has been good for the post office, which has needed a boost in sales. While they’re still not doing well on first-class and bulk mail, their package delivery division is picking up a lot of the slack.

According to a July 2015 Bloomberg article, first-class mail volume dropped 3% over 2014 and bulk mail remained unchanged, but package volume rose 8% from the year before. It was 20% of the USPS total operating revenue of $68 billion.

The Cons of Sunday Delivery

On the downside, many postal employees are going without a day off during the holiday shipping season, thanks in large part to the Amazon delivery deal. A 2014 GeekWire article discussed how many postal employees were working 60 hours a week, seven days a week, without a break.

Whenever possible, the Sunday work at the USPS is performed by “non-career employees,” which refers to part-time associates. These employees often pick up the shifts and give full-time employees some time off, but not as frequently during the holidays.

As we move into this Available-24/7-Deliver-On-Sunday world, we’re losing the idea of being open and closed. E-Commerce, two-hour shipments and even grocery delivery is changing consumer expectations. But as long as consumers are expecting it and demanding it, e-commerce and physical store retailers need to be able to respond.

If you would like to learn more about how to stay ahead of today’s consumer demands and streamline your fulfillment, take a look at our fulfillment solutions.

SPS Commerce Blog Team

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