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E-commerce gaining popularity in Singapore

Analysts say logistics firms in Singapore need to continue adapting their services and infrastructure to cater to e-commerce demand.

SINGAPORE: E-commerce has been gaining popularity in Singapore, boosted by increasing smartphone penetration.

The growing volume of orders from online customers has fuelled demand for logistics and supply chain management, and some industry-watchers say Singapore logistics firms must invest in e-commerce infrastructure to tap on the growth.

SingPost, where e-commerce accounted for 26 per cent of group revenue last year, has been taking measures to ride the e-commerce wave; and it is expanding its services to include storage and fulfilment of online orders.

"We have seen very solid growth among almost all our 600 e-commerce clients across the Asia-Pacific,” said Marcelo Wesseler, senior vice-president at SingPost.

SingPost has been upgrading its infrastructure, investing S$45 million on new mail-sorting machines. It has also revived its parcel delivery service on Saturdays to meet growing demand.

Analysts say other logistics firms in Singapore need to continue adapting their services and infrastructure to cater to e-commerce demand.

"I think e-commerce will require a lot of investment in different areas such as transportation - whether it’s intercontinental or within countries,” said Sachin Mittal, Vice-President, DBS. “Secondly, you’ll need a lot of warehousing requirements, and finally investment in the last-mile delivery.

“I feel very few companies have actually made such investments to benefit from e-commerce."

Market watchers expect the e-commerce sector in Asia to grow at a compounded annual growth of 29 per cent over the next four years.
 

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