Jim Corridore

Emboldened by rapid growth in e-commerce shipping, the cash-strapped USPS is moving aggressively this holiday season to start a premium service for the Internet shopper seeking the instant gratification of a store purchase: same-day package delivery. Teaming up with major retailers, the USPS will begin the expedited service in San Francisco on Dec. 12 at a price similar to its competitors. If things run smoothly, the program will quickly expand next year to other big cities such as Boston, Chicago and New York. It follows similar efforts by eBay, Amazon.com, and most recently Wal-Mart

Unprecedented cuts by the financially struggling United States Postal Service will slow delivery of first-class mail beginning in the spring and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.

The estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail on Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs and avert bankruptcy.

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