Amazon is offering the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service a lifeline, The Washington Post reported.
On Monday, the online retailer announced plans to use the postal service to deliver packages to U.S. customers seven days a week.
Thanks to the new deal, Amazon customers will pay regular mailing rates for weekend deliveries, The Los Angeles Times reported. In the past, a Sunday delivery sent via Express Mail cost extra.
Amazon will launch the new Sunday service in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas immediately, just in time for the holiday shopping rush. The rest of the country will follow suit in 2014.
To handle the additional mail load, the Postal Service will use its flexible scheduling of employees, USPS spokeswoman Sue Brennan said. The USPS isn't planning to hire additional workers.
The partnership is expected to help the Postal Service, which lost $16 billion in the last year. Prior to the partnership, the USPS had been asking Congress for the authority to end Saturday delivery of letters in an effort to cut costs. According to The New York Times, the move will also help the Postal Service in its competition against United Parcel Service and FedEx.
“As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday,” Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in a statement.