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AmazonFresh orders soon to arrive from the post office

The US Postal Service received approval for a market test in San Francisco for its letter carriers to drop off groceries between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.

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AmazonFresh delivers groceries and other items from Amazon.com to people in San Francisco and other major cities. CNET

You may soon get your AmazonFresh groceries from your letter carrier.

The US Postal Regulatory Commission on Thursday said it has approved a US Postal Service market test, called "Customized Delivery," for post office carriers to deliver groceries in the early morning hours in San Francisco. Typically, the items would be delivered during a 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. window.

The market test is scheduled to begin as soon as Friday and last for up to two years. There's a possibility the trial could be extended by another year if the Postal Service makes a request to the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

AmazonFresh lets customers order fresh produce, dairy, meats and other grocery items online and then delivers the goods to customers' doorsteps on the same day or the next day. AmazonFresh customers can also add some local and Amazon.com items to their grocery order. By using the USPS as the delivery vehicle, Amazon would save money and be able to quickly expand its serviced areas.

So far, AmazonFresh is only available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Amazon's hometown of Seattle. The company earlier this month also expanded service to Brooklyn, N.Y. For a limited time, Amazon Prime customers in eligible Brooklyn areas can use AmazonFresh for free, getting access to same-day and early next-day delivery of groceries and over 500,000 Amazon.com items.

For now, AmazonFresh's New York service is available only to members of its $99-per-year Prime shipping and content services. At the start of next year, customers can sign up for Prime Fresh for $299 per year.

The USPS approval came as Amazon reported a quarterly loss of $437 million.The losses, which have plagued the company for years, are a result of Amazon's willingness to invest in new types of products and services -- making risky bets that don't necessarily pay off right away. Generally, investors know they will need to wait several quarters before they see results from these investments. The most recent cycle of investment has a resulted in losses for two years, and while some on Wall Street are a bit jittery, many are still banking on the vision of CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon shares tumbled 12 percent to $276.48 in after-hours trading.

Corrected at 3:35 p.m. PT to reflect the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the test, not the Postal Service.