Amazon, Walmart may be starting a shipping war. FedEx, UPS will need to keep up or get shut out.

Not that many years ago, consumers would order a product to come through the mail, and it would take weeks to arrive. Sometimes, there was an option to pay more – usually a lot more – for faster service, but the phrase “wait four to six weeks for delivery” was a familiar one.

Those days have gone the way of pay phones and 12 CDs for a penny, as Amazon has fundamentally changed consumer expectations of delivery. The paid Amazon Prime service has made two-day delivery the bare minimum, and that led to Walmart embracing two-day shipping while offering it for free (with certain restrictions).

The problem with offering two-day shipping is that it’s expensive and cuts into already thin margins. That has forced both Amazon and Walmart to rethink how they ship items, both to their warehouses and stores and to end customers.

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Clayton Norris

Will the Postal Service offer Walmart the same subsidies and service guarantees pledged to Amazon?