As you may already know, Amazon Prime Day has been delayed this year. It didn't happen in July as it normally does, and now rumors point to it taking place during October. Prime Day has historically been one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, which means that there will be millions of extra packages moving around the world, and that could be a big disaster this year if the USPS shipping delays continue.
If you live in the United States, you may have noticed that packages sent via USPS are being held up all across the country. Recently, we had a package sit in California for over a week before moving to the next shipping center, and I'm not the only one. Fellow Android Central team member Ara has had packages delayed all over the place, and you don't have to look far on Twitter to see lots of people are suffering from this.
Amazon has made some amazing strides over the past few years to take more ownership of its delivery chain. The company has its own fleet of vehicles that deliver millions of products to consumers, but unfortunately that isn't the only way the items get delivered. Amazon still relies quite heavily on USPS to deliver packages to its customers.
According to a report from Business Insider from earlier this year, Amazon delivers about 46% of its packages "the final mile" (aka to the customers door), and USPS is the second highest service coming in at 30% of the deliveries. Another Business Insider report shows that the USPS is facing lots of issues internally and are already behind on deliveries. The company has made sweeping changes to its leadership and is looking to reduce costs and "capture more revenue", because in Q2 2020 the USPS lost $2.2 billion.
Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, more people are shopping online and with the upcoming election people are hoping to rely on being able to vote by mail. These types of backlogs happening before we are close to the election and ahead of the big holiday shopping season for 2020 doesn't bode well for what could come later in the year.
If the shipping delays continue to build up, and companies can't rely on USPS to ship, they may have to move to other services like FedEx and UPS. While this may seem like a great idea on the surface, that could mean that items will cost more money or we see similar delays start happening at both of those shippers. Prices would likely have to rise to help offset the cost difference between USPS and FedEx / UPS, since not all companies will be able to eat that cost. If volume rises, which it will on Prime Day, it would be no shock to see UPS and FedEx fall behind on deliveries quite quickly. Amazon will only be able to offset a portion of this with its own in-house delivery services.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have retail stores around the country that you can go in and buy the items you want, so you do need to rely on shipping to get you the stuff you've purchased. A new report suggests that Amazon wants to turn shopping malls into fulfillment centers, though it's very unlikely that the company would be able to enact any meaningful change towards that before Prime Day and Black Friday this year.
Amazon will do its best to make sure that shipping doesn't become a huge problem for Prime Day 2020, but keep in mind that it's likely that something you buy on Prime Day could take a few days, or maybe even weeks before it arrives to you. Order early, be patient, and let's hope things turn around before millions of people place orders on the same day!
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