SINGAPORE: A nationwide network of 1,000 parcel locker stations will be progressively rolled out by the Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA) from late 2020, said Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann on Tuesday (Mar 3).
Each locker station will contain between 30 and 50 compartments and will be located in public locations such HDB estates, MRT stations and community clubs. All e-commerce and logistics service providers will be able to use the locker network.
"In Singapore, the popularity of e-commerce has led to a steady increase in parcel deliveries," said Ms Sim.
"But given Singapore's urban context and consumers' busy lifestyles, doorstop deliveries often mean missed deliveries. Our postal infrastructure must evolve to offer practical alternatives to doorstop deliveries so that all logistics service providers, and not just SingPost, can overcome this costly challenge."
The network aims to "complement" delivery points in commercial areas and private neighbourhoods served by existing locker operators, said the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
In Singapore, around 200,000 parcels are delivered daily, and e-commerce is projected to grow at 12 to 20 per cent annually until 2025, said Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran in his Committee of Supply speech.
"This open and fair access to the network will help reduce the number of missed deliveries and improve the efficiency of Singapore's logistics sector," said MCI.
This move will allow residents to have at least one parcel locker station located about five minutes walk or 250m of their HDB blocks by end-2022, the ministry added.
"The goal is to place a locker station around five minutes' walk from every HDB block. Users can collect their parcels on the way to work, or on their way home, any time of the day," said Ms Sim Ann in her Committee of Supply debate speech.
This initiative follows an inter-agency pilot launched in Bukit Panjang and Punggol's HDB towns in December 2018.
Led by IMDA, its aim was to assess the demand for an open-access, shared parcel delivery infrastructure for service providers, consumers and businesses. E-commerce marketplaces such as Qoo10 and Zalora participated "actively" as well, said MCI.
Results from the pilot were "encouraging", added MCI, with service satisfaction among 75 per cent of surveyed users. It also allowed a driver to deliver up to 250 parcels a day to the parcel lockers - four times more compared to doorstop deliveries.
"Building on the pilot's achievements, IMDA will scale up the network of parcel lockers and deploy them nationwide to better serve the needs of Singapore residents," said MCI.
"IMDA will also work in strategic partnership with SingPost to leverage their extensive postal service experience, and with key industry partners such as Shopee to co-develop innovative solutions that meet the growing demands of e-commerce."
SingPost has also been improving its service delivery to "rebuild public trust", added Ms Sim Ann. She pointed out that consumer complaints fell by about 40 per cent in December 2019 compared to 2018, with consumer satisfaction also having grown.
"SingPost's stronger performance reflects the efforts they have put in," said Ms Sim Ann. "MCI and IMDA will continue to work closely with SingPost to enhance its service delivery."