By Jessica Lim | THE STRAITS TIMES
SingPost setting up 24-hour lockers that will open with an access code.
PARCEL deliveries often fail to reach their destinations, thwarted by unanswered doorbells, door-step thieves and futile treks to closed post offices. A new delivery locker system, if it kicks off here, may solve this problem once and for all.
Singapore Post is developing 24-hour kiosks, each equipped with about 120 lockers. The service is free and a locker will pop open when a customer enters an access code received via e-mail or text message. The 7m by 2m kiosks were unveiled to the public last Saturday at the 10 hour SingPost Carnival at Ngee Ann City to celebrate over 150 years of service. Five kiosks will be up early next year in a pilot phase. If they prove popular, the plan is to roll out up to 100 of them across the island within the next two years.
The lockers may also be modified to allow customers to send parcels as well. SingPost called for a tender for the kiosk a few months ago, and awarded it to Australian company TZ Limited last week. “Most people are not at home in the day to receive the parcels, and this initiative will offer them greater convenience and flexibility as they can self-collect 24/7,” said SingPost chief executive Wolfgang Baier. “They do not have to sit at home to wait for the parcel.” He added that parcel locker stations would support the rapid e-commerce boom here, but did not say how much the kiosks would cost the company.
Last year, SingPost delivered an average of 3.7 million parcels a month, up from 3.3 million in 2010 and 2.4 million in 2009 – a trend it has attributed to the popularity of blogshops and online shopping here. A recent PayPal study showed that Singapore’s online commerce market grew from $1.1 billion in 2010 to $1.4 billion last year. The numbers are projected to hit $4.4 billion in 2015. Such delivery lockers are popular in Europe. Companies such as Amazon.com are also rolling out their own delivery lockers in some of the United States’ biggest cities, as well as in London.