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> "Delivery on a Sunday would be very compelling for consumers. There are certainly people who decide not to make an order on a Friday because it won't get there until Monday,"

I am definitely one of those people. It seems like I always end up remembering to order something late Thursday night or Friday. When using my Prime membership's 2 day shipping on a friday, the package does not arrive until Tuesday. Is this ever going to change?

What exactly is the reason these shipping companies seem to go into a kind of hibernation over the weekend? Surely there are people out there who would be willing to work weekends (if the pay was right)? How much more would it cost them?




If we allow shipping companies to work on sundays, we should also allow some warehouse employees to work on sundays. Now all these companies will need electricians and mechanics that work on the weekend to fix stuff that breaks on weekends, because else they would have to wait until monday to continue working. These technicians will need to get their spare parts somewhere, so their distributors need to work on the weekend too. With so many people working on the weekend, it'll be necessary for typical white collar workers to work on the weekend, because a business owner doesn't want to wait until Monday for his accountant to do the paperwork for his new weekend employees. At some point the IT system of a shipping company, or a warehouse, or an accountant will fail on a sunday, and then some HN reader will have to go to work on sunday and miss the delivery of some parcel they ordered and they will have to wait until monday anyway.


I noticed you're from Austria. If the rules in Austria are like I understand them to be in Germany, you're actually not allowed to work on Sunday. There are no laws against that the the US. Most stores are already open on Sunday, and plenty of people work.


That chain of events is a bit questionable since there are already enough people working on Sundays. Hospitals, Restaurants, Police, ...


Yes, and all these things already require a lot of people to work on the weekend. Blood transfusions are delivered on weekends just fine. But that's no reason to allow consumer electronics to be delivered on Sunday...


So people who work in retail stores open on the weekends work 56 hour weeks rather than 40 hour weeks?

I feel really bad for the people working in the drugstore now!

Just to be clear, the idea that weekly cyclicality in demand for labor, or any restriction on demand for labor hurts employee welfare makes little sense when the legislative efforts already focus on labor friendly restrictions on supply. In fact, one of the ways that unions served their members was by insisting that outmoded positions (eg. coal shoveler on a diesel-electric train) were still filled.

In general, labor interests are served when employers need more work done, and the supply of labor is constrained through things like limits to how many hours can be worked in a stretch without a break and when overtime pay is required. (I say in general, because everyone is also a consumer, so efficiency and productivity gains are not a net loss, they're a net gain)


"People willing to pay for it" sounds like a reason


I can go into a store and buy it on Sunday. Why should delivery be any different?


It should not. The question might be why going into a store on sundays?


Why not? Stores or more or less universally open, and I've got the day off.


That HN reader will probably take Mondays off.

The real question is: Will this will just create more jobs in the end? I am not sure though. Because, it will make life even harder for B&M stores. I already use only the local hardware store, and the bicycle shop as far as the local retail stores go. Even then the nearest bicycle shop closed last summer after many years of service.


Actually I thought of the same thing when I read the article. These expectations are what making Japanese working environments so insane like unpaid hours and people fatiguing to death -- though I won't say such expectations would create same effect as mindset and legal ramifications are different, but these changes can create shift in peoples' expectations and someone do have to pay for it.


>What exactly is the reason these shipping companies seem to go into a kind of hibernation over the weekend? Surely there are people out there who would be willing to work weekends (if the pay was right)? How much more would it cost them?

Supposedly preachers lobbied the government to shut down the USPS on Sunday because people were hanging out at the post office instead of going to church.

http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/02/19/sunday-mail-service-in...


> What exactly is the reason these shipping companies seem to go into a kind of hibernation over the weekend?

You can thank the Jews, the Christians, unions, Henry Ford, and the Great Depression.


Yeah, I think it's important we have time off (possibly more than we do), but I think it's much less important that all line up...


Its often important that organizations that work together have operational time off that aligns well most of the time, because misalignments create latency in decision loops and, therefore, inefficient use of resources.

When you start tracing the dependencies between organizations throughout the economy, you start seeing why having a widely shared set of shared working days and working hours actually makes quite a bit of sense from that perspective.


That is unquestionably a concern. I think you overrate it, though. Having more diversity in working hours would often lower latency, as there's someone available during off-hours rather than having huge gaps. We're also already dealing with a certain amount of distribution with timezones in (sorry for the cliche) "our increasingly globalized world" - I don't see that spreading that around more is going to cause more problems than it solves. As pointed out elsewhere, spreading out peak usage of things like roads and electricity provides significant benefit.


Agreed. Also there are benefits to spreading out the acceptable work week like reducing traffic congestion.

Obviously this sort of spread wouldn't work in every industry, but the idea that any "professional" should work from approximately 9-5 on M-F causes obvious lifestyle load balancing issues we could avoid by spreading it out much more were possible.


So you would be fine with it if your job was Sun-Thurs and your partner/husband/wife worked Saturday-Weds? What about kids who still go to school M-F? When would you see them There is actually a benefit to society in having weekends aligned, so that families and friends can have time off together and interact with other people.


It is important that there be sufficient overlap. It is less important that there be complete overlap. There is a downside to my wife working while I am free, but an up-side too if we are better able to distribute tasks like childcare between us.

Maintaining sufficient overlap is partly a matter of individual schedule preferences, and it gets easier as amount of free time increases (though, obviously, at a cost of overlap in work time) and as scheduling flexibility generally increases. Currently, if my wife has a "9-5" and I am stuck working something with weekend shifts, my wife typically lacks the flexibility to shift her schedule to match mine. What I am most strongly arguing for is increased flexibility where it is feasible.


I just read https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6711121 which explains the (fairly obvious?) Christian connection, but what do Jews, unions, Henry Ford, and the Great Depression have to do with it? The Jews don't even have a Sunday sabbath.


Ford was the first company in the US to institute a 5 day work week. Hoover asked companies to go to a 5 day work week in lieu of layoffs and Roosevelt passed Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 making it mandatory for certain workers.


It is possible - indeed there are companies that will do it. Sunday delivery driver pay is about 25% higher. The thing is, the changes to the company are bigger than you might imagine, and that can make them expensive in other ways too.

One factor is what type of deliveries your company does. Some delivery companies want to deliver to offices; most offices have receptionists and are open 9-5 so deliveries are quick and you don't have to make multiple delivery attempts, the parking and roads are usually good, and offices tend to be in densely populated areas so you don't have to drive too long. Offices aren't open over the weekend.

Another factor is the shifts your staff are going to work. You have to give people several days a week if you want to keep them skilled and stop them needing a second job. You need managers as well as drivers. So you don't just have to hire one day's more warm bodies, you need to reorganise all your existing employees' shifts too.

If your company has always done Sunday deliveries, and your drivers knew they'd be working Sundays when they signed up, that's all well and good. But if you have a bunch of people who signed up with a company that always gave them Sunday off, and you have to change that, that's going to cost you a lot of staff goodwill, a.k.a. money.


> What exactly is the reason these shipping companies seem to go into a kind of hibernation over the weekend? Surely there are people out there who would be willing to work weekends (if the pay was right)? How much more would it cost them?

This disturbs me, just like forcing shops to open on the weekend. People need a break, and should have a break, just because you can't wait an extra day?

Sure, they have a choice to work, just as shop workers have a choice to work, they can always get a job somewhere else.


People need a break. People should get a break. They should also hire extra weekend help. Spreading the load out by hiring part-time but weekend-bonused workers would benefit society as a whole. It's not just going to be overtime, it's going to be more interesting and flexible work hours - And society will benefit.


Spreading the load when generalized also spreads the shops income, and will make paying sunday bonuses unsustainable for companies. Sunday work appears great only if a portion of competitors open, it doesnt create income out of nowhere but draws it from closed competitors.


> Sunday work appears great only if a portion of competitors open, it doesnt create income out of nowhere but draws it from closed competitors.

So by the same argument--but in reverse, only opening shops one day a week or even month would not destroy wealth generation, but would just reshuffle income?


What? No one said anything about taking away breaks. People work Saturday and Sunday and take their breaks during the week.


I think there are benefits to us all having breaks at the same time, so we can see friend and family. I think we can survive without everything being available every day of the week.


Public service announcement: that line of reasoning makes you a social authoritarian. You want to tell people when they can and can't go to work because you know what's best for their social life.


That ship has sailed...


The problem I see is that your kids are in school the week... And you should have at least one day with your kids (society benefits a lot of this, and it makes day care cheaper) . Maybe have either Saturday or Sunday of mandated free time, and then Amazon could hire people either Sunday or Saturday...

Maybe that's why I live in France :-).


Perhaps people with kids are best off if they look for jobs where they can spend the weekend with their kids. But not everyone has kids - some people are busy during the week with, say, university, and might welcome the chance to make a bit of money on the weekend.

Fortunately, here in Italy, Mario Monti got rid of some of the rules about working on Sunday.


But it took France until 2008 to stop sending kids to school on Saturday mornings while the parents were home, so obviously you coped without a complete overlap of leisure time among the family for a while :)

It is impossible to mandate that nobody work on any of the 7 days, because hospitals. So we already admit that some people will be working when most people are not - the question is whether we tell them to suck it up, society is going to ignore them forever, or whether we can re-arrange society so that the family of the ER doctor can also work Sunday and take Wednesday off to be together.


It disturbs me that you seem to think that Saturday and Sunday are the only two days a week that someone can not work.


You might want to move to France or Germany.




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