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Arcane Weekday Business Model for Shipping Companies


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I don't know how many other people have noticed, but Amazon has same-day shipping now on some items, which is pretty impressive. They tend to use some less well-known shipping companies for their weekend deliveries since UPS/Fedex I'm sure charge a lot more and still make it a point of being mostly closed on the weekends. And this got me wondering why UPS/Fedex haven't changed much in that regard in the last couple decades.


How many of you have ever had a package shipped to you, scheduled to be delivered Monday, but it arrives at your local shipping center Friday night or very early Saturday morning? The package can literally be a few miles from you, but for more than 48 hours, it's just going to sit at their warehouse and you have no access to it. You generally can't go pick it up (even though it would save them gas and the drive on Monday) no matter what. And this has been the case for decades at least.


With the current number of online merchants and products available via the web, people buy a tremendous amount more online now than they did 10-15 years ago. I don't know the statistics, but the growth has to be astronomical. Yet the shipping companies still keep that Monday-Friday business model, avoiding the two days when most consumers are actually home and available to take delivery. Very little, if any progress, on weekend delivery, and still no option to let a person conveniently go grab their package on the weekend when it's sitting nearby at a warehouse.


I find this resistance to change to be somewhat similar to how the telephone companies have kept charging for long distance long after the wireless companies included it in their rates for all calls. The Monday-Friday work week is outdated. Sure, everyone needs days off, but there's no reason we all need the same days off. I think it's about time all days of the week were treated equally. Thoughts?

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A lot of that model is driven by the high price of gas. They save a lot of money by grouping the shipments and only sending the trucks out 5 days a week rather than 6, and also if they accumulate items going to the same neighborhood they'll make only one trip rather than two by delivering to several people in the neighborhood rather than just one.


So it's not so much about the Mon-Fri week, but saving money on gas and staffing by accumulating items to ship. It makes more business sense for them to send out a full truck every other day than a half empty truck every day. Just savings on the cost of doing business.


Amazon used to ship every item with 2 day Prime (free shipping) but recently they stopped shipping the smaller less expensive items and moved them into the 'Add on' category where you'd only get them with free shipping by adding them on to any order over $25. It just was not cost effective for them to ship something that you paid $5 for free.


So businesses have profit models they need to follow, especially with the high cost of shipping these days due to gas prices.

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