Singapore Post (SingPost) said it plans to expand its network of POPStation parcel lockers into Housing Development Board (HDB) blocks and Mass Rapid Transit
Metro system (MRT) stations in Singapore in order to make parcel deliveries more efficient and reduce reliance on manpower, SingPost chief executive Paul Coutts told the Straits Times in an exclusive interview.
The POPStation parcel lockers may eventually double as unmanned post offices offering food, medicine and grocery services as the postal service shifts its focus toward e-commerce and becoming a last-mile logistics powerhouse, Coutts said.
"We would be able to take a lot of transport off the road during the day and deliver products into the locker system overnight," Coutts noted, adding "Instead of waiting all day for the driver, consumers can go to the locker to pick up the package and put it back in and return it if they don't like it."
There are currently 160 POPStation lockers across the island, which are used to collect, return and ship parcels through SingPost's network.
The Straits Times report said that a pilot unmanned post office opened at Sun Plaza in Sembawang in May, featuring a 24-hour self-service area with POPStation lockers, upgraded SAM machines offering remittance and other postal services, and a self-drop box for registered articles.
Aggressive market strategy
"We're taking the post office to the community, not waiting for the community to come to the post office. That's where I want to try and reposition the company," Coutts explained.
SingPost, which is backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, embarked on a strategy of leveraging its extensive postal infrastructure to go after the e-commerce market more aggressively. While mail volumes continue to fall, 60% of SingPost's revenue today comes from e-commerce. According to Coutts, this share is expected to "grow dramatically."
In a related development, SingPost, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and local start-up Parcel Santa have teamed up create what they say is the most extensive network of parcel collection points in Singapore. Parcel Santa will partner SPH and tap its newspaper delivery network of more than 3,000 vendors and delivery crew to make deliveries to the SingPost's parcel lockers located all over the island.
Nol van Fenema