Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary, officiated the launch of the Locker Alliance trial in Punggol..
Dr Janil Puthucheary testing out a locker station during the official launch.
By Christopher Koh
Online shopping is an awesome experience where so many things are so readily available – think Lazada, Qoo10 and Taobao. However, there certainly are some pains that even fans of online shopping will understand.
For example, have you ever ordered something online and then had to take time off so you can be home to receive your delivery? Or worse, after taking the time to receive the parcel, but only to have your delivery delayed to a timing that is not convenient or to the next day?
You’re certainly not alone. Known in the logistics industry as ‘last-mile fulfilment’, this can be a challenging final leg of a delivery journey to you, the customer.
With one major aim of helping both delivery personnel and the online shopper who is eagerly awaiting his or her package, IMDA launched the Locker Alliance, which has installed locker stations in both Bukit Panjang and Punggol towns – and this trial has gone live since 7 December 2018.
IMDA's Assistant Chief Executive for Sectoral Transformation Jane Lim (left) and Cluster Director for Trade & Connectivity (right) in front of a SingPost locker station.
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary, officiated the launch of the Locker Alliance trial in Punggol.
At the heart of the Locker Alliance is an interoperable digital platform that is open to players in the industry: Locker operators, logistics service providers, and online retailers too. The platform, developed and operated by Parcel Perform and overseen by IMDA, allows online retailers and different locker operator networks to work together under a single interoperable system, eliminating the need for each player to integrate its systems with multiple parties.
Working with Blu Logistics and Singapore Post in the respective towns of Bukit Panjang and Punggol, the locker stations have been located such that anyone living in an HDB block can collect their parcels from a locker only a few minutes’ walk – or up to 250m – away, at any convenient time.
Fun fact: There are 62 HDB locker sites in Punggol and Bukit Panjang!
One advantage is that delivery providers need only drop off the parcels at designated lockers instead of delivering to individual housing unit, and need not make repeated trips simply because the recipients were not at home.
Convenient Pickups and Returns
The Locker Alliance website lets you search for the lockers nearest your home.
For the online shopper, it is convenience personified: The lockers are secure, easy to use and run 24/7 so that you can collect your parcel at any time of the day – and any day of the week.
You can also use the HDB lockers to return your parcels, if need be.
For those living outside of these towns, good news: You can still make use of Locker Alliance stations installed at nearby MRT stations, as well as the stations within the two towns themselves:
MRT Stations in the West:
- Boon Lay
- Bukit Panjang
- Chinese Gardens
MRT Stations in the North-East:
IMDA Assistant Chief Executive Jane Lim checking out a demo of the locker station from Blu Logistics, the partner running the trial in Bukit Panjang.
The Locker Alliance will have many known e-marketplaces and merchants on board, so that most people living in these areas can use the locker system to collect their deliveries. This is a one-year pilot under the Federated Lockers initiative, with an option for extension for another year – with the potential for national rollout if all goes well.
More exciting news, especially if you ship parcels to friends overseas. The locker platform might even travel internationally, as IMDA has signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) with locker operators from Thailand (BOX24), Hong Kong (Pakpobox) and Indonesia (Popbox Asia), to explore the development of a regional locker network.
The IMDA team believes that this can bring the same benefits of the Singapore Locker Alliance to neighboring countries, levelling the playing field for micro SME e-merchants and logistics service providers, with the benefit of enhancing cross-border e-commerce trade in the region. This dovetails with the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce, which seeks to enable ASEAN members to buy and sell goods more seamlessly.
How cool is that?
To find out more about the Locker Alliance, visit www.lockeralliance.net.