SINGAPORE: Singapore Post (SingPost) is set to cease doorstep deliveries for small packages via registered mail, as it seeks to increase operational efficiency amid the e-commerce boom.
Under changes announced by the national postal services provider on Wednesday (Oct 30), SingPost will from Dec 2 streamline its parcel deliveries into two new categories - Basic Package and Tracked Packages - for packages weighing up to 2kg.
These packages will be delivered only to letterboxes.
"The introduction of these new categories reflects the high demand for small package deliveries across Singapore," said SingPost.
"Direct delivery to the letterbox means customers do not need to stay at home to receive their packages and will therefore reduce missed deliveries. This will also make the work of the postman more efficient, leading to improved service standards."
At the moment, items up to 2kg can be sent via SingPost under the Ordinary Mail category, costing up to S$3.35. There is an additional S$2.24 applicable for a local registered article.
From Dec 2, the Ordinary Mail category will be renamed Basic Mail and accept only letters and printed papers weighing up to 500g.
Consumers who want to send parcels of up to 2kg can do so via the Basic Package delivery service for between S$0.90 and S$3.50. This will deliver the item to a recipient's letterbox and does not provide any form of tracking or notification.
Senders can also choose the Tracked Package delivery service, which costs between S$3.20 and S$4.80. This too will deliver parcels to a letterbox, but unlike the Basic Package, offers tracking and notifications.
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Customers who want doorstep deliveries or need to send heavier packages can choose Speedpost courier services, SingPost said.
SingPost's Registered Article service, a sign-for service that delivers items to the recipients' doorstep, will also be renamed Registered Service (Singapore) - and accept only letters and printed papers up to 500g. This means small packages no longer qualify.
Due to its sign-for offering, customers had been using the registered service to send packages, "which has put a strain" on the service, said SingPost.
Limiting the new Registered Service will "realign" the service to its original purpose, which is to offer secure delivery and tracked receipt of important letters and documents, SingPost added.
HIGHER INTERNATIONAL AIRMAIL RATES
International airmail rates from Singapore will also rise from Dec 2.
Rates for letters, printed papers and postcards will cost between S$0.10 and S$0.20 more, depending on country zones.
Aerogramme rates will also increase by S$0.10 apiece, and Registered Service (International) fees will go up to S$3.60 (from the current S$2.50), in addition to the applicable postage fees.
This is due to international settlement rate increases made annually by the Universal Postal Union - a United Nations agency that sets rules for international mail services - said SingPost.
"Postal operators have increased their international mail rates each year to mitigate their rising operating costs due to increasing international postal settlement rates," said SingPost, adding that it has been absorbing the yearly increase in payment made to foreign postal operators since 2014.
"In 2018, SingPost saw an increase in payments to foreign postal operators by more than 25 per cent, and projects that the payments will continue to increase each year."
International surface (sea/land) mail rates, as well as airmail rates for packages, will remain the same.
"We are committed to keeping our postal service relevant in the e-commerce age to better serve the needs of our customers," said Mr Vincent Phang, CEO for postal serrvices and Singapore at SingPost.
The new services are "the natural next steps in the transformation of Singapore’s postal services", he added.