How Does Amazon Use USPS for Deliveries?

USPS serves as one of the shipping partners for Amazon. Since 2013, the e-commerce giant has been using USPS for delivering Amazon Prime packages. Here’s how Amazon uses USPS for shipping.

Amazon prepares packages at its fulfillment centers, where the inventory is stored, sorted, and labeled for shipping. The company utilizes the power of its strategically located sortation centers designed to improve shipping efficiency.

At the sortation center, the incoming packages are typically sorted by zip code and grouped according to the destination. Then, they are prepared for handoff to a delivery partner like USPS.

The handoff occurs at the processing center or the closest USPS facility. Once the package is in USPS’s possession, USPS uses its transportation network to deliver the package to the recipient’s address.

What Are the Benefits of Amazon Using USPS?

From the business perspective, it makes sense for Amazon to join hands with USPS. Here are the benefits of Amazon using USPS for delivering Amazon packages.

1. Reliable Delivery

USPS has an extensive delivery network that covers almost every address in the United States. Joining hands with USPS allows Amazon to take advantage of the USPS’s infrastructure, resulting in increased reliability of package delivery.

2. Cost-Effective Shipping

Even though Amazon has a massive network of warehouses and delivery stations across the United States, it’s cheaper for them to rely on USPS to support their e-commerce operations.

3. Access to Remote Areas

Amazon has yet to expand its product delivery capabilities in rural areas. Therefore, the company banks upon USPS’s widespread delivery network to reach out to remote areas.

4. Sunday Deliveries

Partnering with USPS allows Amazon to offer more convenient delivery options like Sunday deliveries, which is particularly great for customers who can’t wait till Monday to receive their orders.

What Are the Drawbacks of Amazon Using USPS?

1. Delayed Deliveries

When Amazon packages are shipped through USPS, some customers report delayed shipments, which ultimately ruins a customer’s experience with Amazon. Dealing with refunds and returns also becomes a challenge when USPS is involved.

2. Package Safety Concerns

Unless the shipper specifies, USPS employees will not insist on a signature at the time of product delivery. The packages are often left at the customer’s doorsteps or mailboxes, exposing them to theft or vandalism.

3. Limited Tracking Information

USPS tracking system fails to provide detailed tracking records of the product during transportation, such as a picture of the delivered package. Sometimes, customers may receive a notification that their package has been delivered while it’s still on its way.

How Can You Choose Your Preferred Carrier on Amazon?

Amazon determines the carrier for your orders for the most part. So, there is limited control in choosing the preferred carrier on Amazon’s platform. That said, you can still sometimes influence the carrier selection for your order. Let’s understand how:

Amazon Prime

At the time of checkout for an Amazon Prime order, Amazon may list the available carriers (like USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.) along with the estimated arrival time, allowing you to choose the preferred carrier based on your needs.

Amazon Prime Pantry

Designed to deliver everyday grocery items, Amazon uses its own delivery network for Prime Pantry orders. So, there is some scope for choosing a preferred carrier for your order by requesting Amazon at the time of buying.

Delivery Instructions

You can use the ‘delivery instructions’ section during checkout to specify your preferred shipping carrier. The delivery instructions do not guarantee a change in shipping carrier. However, it’s worth trying to influence the shipping process. 

Amazon Locker

You can also consider using the Amazon Locker service. Amazon Lockers are located at various places where you can receive your order securely without the involvement of any third-party carrier. Your order will be held at the Amazon Locker location for a maximum of three days until you pick it up.

Can You Opt Out of USPS Delivery on Amazon?

You cannot opt out of USPS Delivery on Amazon. That said, you can successfully avoid USPS services when buying from Amazon by purchasing items only from those sellers that don’t use USPS shipping. Sellers on Amazon often specify which carrier they use for shipping.

Alternatively, you can call Amazon’s customer service team and request them to use a different carrier. As long as the entire fulfillment process is handled directly by Amazon and not a third-party seller, your request may be accommodated.

What Other Carriers Does Amazon Use for Deliveries?

1. UPS (United Parcel Service)

Amazon benefits from the wide range of delivery solutions offered by UPS, such as regular, expedited, and same-day delivery options on both national and international orders. By taking advantage of UPS’s supply chain network, Amazon offers a positive customer service experience.

2. FedEx (Federal Express)

FedEx is one of the reliable shipping carriers used by Amazon for order fulfillment. In fact, the FedEx shipping services play a great role in ensuring that Amazon lives up to the promise of delivering Amazon Prime orders in one or two business days.

3. DHL (Dalsey, Hillblom and Lynn)

Because of DHL’s strong global presence, Amazon utilizes the services of DHL for its logistics needs, especially during peak holiday seasons when the shipping volume is high. Amazon also uses DHL for regional areas where DHL has a solid presence.

4. AMZL US (Amazon Logistics)

To reduce dependence on third-party carriers, Amazon uses its own logistics company, Amazon Logistics, for shipping. The extent to which Amazon uses AMZL US services varies from one region to region, but the goal is to expand the Amazon Logistics network. This enables AMZL US to handle a significant portion of the shipping volume, ultimately allowing Amazon better control over the delivery process.

5. Independent Contractors via Amazon Flex Program

To increase the delivery capacity, Amazon utilizes the services of independent shipping contractors via the Amazon Flex Program. The program allows independent drivers to sign up with Amazon to deliver Amazon packages to customers. These independent delivery drivers are called ‘Amazon Flex Drivers’ who are compensated for delivering packages to businesses or customer’s homes.