After nearly six years of multibillion-dollar losses, the U.S. Postal Service has developed a new plan to help turn its finances around: Daily grocery deliveries.
The Postal Service sent its proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, seeking approval from the panel. The agency wants to begin testing on Oct. 24, with the process lasting up to two years, although it could choose to make the program permanent at a sooner date.
Under the plan, USPS would work with retail partners to deliver “groceries and other prepackaged goods” to homes between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. at locations designated by consumers. Participating grocery stores would have to drop off their orders at post offices between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.
“Ultimately, the Postal Service expects this will generate more package deliveries that do not currently move within the postal system,” the agency said in its proposal. “Grocery deliveries are expanding across the nation, with several different types of companies beginning to offer this service in recent months.”
USPS has not specified what its delivery prices would be, or which cities and retailers would be involved in the program.
The Postal Service has already tested the program, toting groceries for Amazon.com in the San Francisco area. According to the proposal, USPS averaged 160 deliveries per day in 38 Zip codes.
USPS has partnered with several retailers over the past year in an effort to generate new revenue for the cash-strapped agency.
In November, the Postal Service agreed to a partnership with Amazon that allows the online retailer to ship packages on Sundays at regular rates. Previously, the agency charged an extra fee for delivering on Sundays.
Also in November, USPS announced that it would team up with the Staples office-supply chain to open postal centers at 82 of its stores nationwide.