The U.S. Postal Service has added day-specific delivery to its Priority Mail service along with features like free insurance and improved tracking.
The postal service is also asking Congressional approval to ship alcoholic beverages, which is currently forbidden by law. Officials have said shipping alcohol could generate $50 million a year for the postal service.
Priority items will now be delivered in a one-, two- or three-day time frame. Customers can figure out how long the package will take to deliver by using the map at the USPS Web site
. As an example, shipments from Atlanta would only be delivered in one day within the immediate area, stretching as far north as the Tennessee state line and as far west as the Alabama state line. Most of the rest of the country, however, is in the two-day delivery range with far-flung and lesser-popluated pockets of America in a three-day zone.
“Our revamped Priority Mail product line should be a game changer in the shipping marketplace,” the USPS’ Nagisa Manabe said. “We’re meeting the rising expectations of customers with important new features that include new packaging, free insurance, date-specific delivery and free tracking.”
All priority mail purchases will also include free $50 or $100 insurance coverage, depending on if the package was shipped online or in a retail store.
According to the USPS, its package business has grown by 14 percent over the last two years, and much of this activity has been fueled by e-commerce. The post office expects the online shipping trend to continue over the next 10 years and for consumers to increase their online spending by 62 percent in the next three years.
In the third quarter, USPS saw a net loss of $740 million. - Jon Ross