Internet shoppers in Singapore will be able to have their purchases delivered to a nearby parcel locker from next year, if they can’t be at home to receive packages.
Singapore Post is introducing five parcel locker terminals on a pilot basis early in 2013, to provide an alternative option to package deliveries made by its Speedpost couriers and collections at post offices, particularly to help ecommerce.
If the trial is successful, dozens of the machines could be added across the island.
Each parcel terminal will be 7m by 2m in size, equipped with about 120 lockers of different sizes. Customers will be able to collect items 24 hours a day from the units, without additional charge, by entering an access code into a terminal’s touchscreen display, having received the code by email or text message.
The first terminal was unveiled to the public at the weekend at Ngee Ann City, with others set to follow in the coming months.
SingPost spokesperson Patsie Tan told Post&Parcel today that the trial aims to find another convenient way for customers to receive packages, particularly supporting the boom in ecommerce.
“E-commerce in Singapore, which has an internet penetration of about 85%, has grown significantly over the last few years as more Singaporeans are embracing an e-lifestyle,” she said.
“As most people are not at home in the day to receive their parcels, this initiative offers them greater convenience and flexibility for they can self-collect 24/7. They do not have to sit at home to wait for the parcel.”
TZ Limited has previously demonstrated its parcel locker systems through an Australia Post trial
SingPost has been building up its ecommerce presence as the sector offers growth opportunities compared to its declining domestic mail business. Last year the company’s courier brand, Speedpost, achieved a 7.3% increase in its S$62.2m revenue largely thanks to soaring ecommerce demand.
Singapore’s ecommerce market was worth $1.2bn USD in 2011 according to the E-Commerce Alliance of Singapore, and is forecast to grow to $4.4bn by 2015. The small country already has more than 4,000 local businesses active in trading online.
Parcel terminals are catching on across the world at the moment, having been used in Germany for more than a decade.
SingPost said that if the parcel locker stations prove popular in Singapore, the plan is to roll out 50 to 100 of the machines across the island over the next two years.
“This investment will certainly help to improve customer productivity,” the company spokesperson said.
Australian-listed TZ Limited has been selected to provide the parcel terminals for the SingPost trial.
The company has previously demonstrated several of its machines with Australian Post, partnering with Pitney Bowes on the integration of the parcel terminals into a postal operator’s delivery infrastructure. The project paved the way for a wider roll-out at Australia Post, but TZ missed out on the contract for the roll-out.
Mark Bouris, the high-profile Australian entrepreneur and executive chairman of TZ Limited, said Singapore was “one of the world’s most online-savvy communities”, and that Singaporeans readily embrace new technology.
He suggested that the deployment of parcel lockers across the island would be a “critical enabler” for the effective management of first and last mile deliveries.
“This is a significant win for the company as we understand the tender was aggressively contested by the major postal parcel locker suppliers,” said Bouris. “TZL has a phenomenal opportunity to make a major statement in the region and show the world what its Packaged Asset Delivery technology is capable of delivering.”
TZ is in the process of issuing new shares through an entitlement offer with the aim of raising A$4.6m in capital, in order to support the supply, commissioning and servicing of the parcel lockers for the SingPost contract.
Source: James Cartledge, Post&Parcel