SINGAPORE: Residents in Punggol and Bukit Panjang will be the first in Singapore to try out a new locker system that promises more convenience for them to collect their parcels and online purchases.
The pilot for the federated locker initiative was announced on Friday (Dec 7) by the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), which added that 78,000 households in the two towns will benefit from these collection points that will run at all hours.
The initiative was first revealed in May this year.
The pilot, named Locker Alliance, brings together various industry players such as locker operators, logistics service providers and e-marketplaces on to a single, interoperable platform, the release said.
Elaborating, it said the platform is developed by Parcel Perform and allows different locker operator networks to function collectively.
As part of this pilot, lockers were installed across more than 60 locations in the two towns and is expected to run for a year. These are located within 250m of all HDB blocks and are accessible at all hours so consumers can pick up their packages. They can also return their buys using these lockers, IMDA said.
"Everyone who buys or sells something online will be familiar with the issue of last-mile delivery," said IMDA CEO Tan Kiat How.
"Through the Locker Alliance programme, we want to make it more convenient for consumers to collect their items, while improving the efficiency and cost effectiveness of parcels delivery."
Mr Tan said when implemented across Singapore, logistics service providers can potentially see a 50 per cent reduction in distance travelled by their drivers, yet see a five-fold improvement in delivery efficiency.
The agency will evaluate the viability of adding more sites in Singapore following the launch of the pilot.
Already, HDB has tied up with e-commerce site Lazada to tap on this infrastructure, announcing separately on Friday that some retailers from Oasis Terraces in Punggol are selling online and consumers can collect their buys at a dedicated locker area at the neighbourhood centre.
REGIONAL LOCKER NETWORK EYED
Beyond these shores, IMDA also announced it signed a memorandum of intent (Intent) with locker operators like Thailand's Box24, Hong Kong's Pakpobox and Indonesia's Popbox Asia to explore developing a regional network.
READ: ASEAN e-commerce agreement, innovation network to give Singapore businesses a leg up, says S Iswaran
The agreement is for three years and will cover engaging local stakeholders to drive adoption, adopting the technical reference developed by IMDA for data exchange between different parties and to enhance said standards, it added.
Given that these operators have locker infrastructure in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau and Malaysia, IMDA said its Locker Alliance model could open up e-commerce opportunities for businesses and logistics players.
A separate study by Google and Temasek released last month showed that Southeast Asia's Web economy is expected to exceed US$240 billion and create 1.7 million full-time jobs by 2025.