Ladies and Gentlemen,
E-commerce Driving Transformation of Urban Logistics
1. Thank you very much for inviting me to the launch of the Locker Alliance pilot, which is ‘going live’ today. E-commerce is a multi-billion-dollar business in Singapore and growing strongly. In Singapore, 7 in 10 consumers shop online. In 2018, revenue in our e-commerce market was estimated to be more than S$5.5 billion. This is projected to nearly double in the next four years.
2. With the ability to shop instantly, consumers also want to receive their parcels as soon as possible, at a time of their choosing. At the same time, our logistics companies currently face the problem of making door-to-door deliveries and finding no one at home to receive the goods. We see that missed parcels and return visits are inconvenient for consumers, inefficient for logistics companies and environmentally less friendly. With the growing e-commerce trend, there is strong demand for urban logistics solutions that leverage technology to solve the last-mile delivery challenge and satisfy consumer expectations.
Locker Alliance: A Strong Public-Private Partnership
For companies, shared benefits of scale and better customer experience
3. We will be piloting the large scale deployment of common parcel lockers to facilitate last-mile parcel delivery at HDB estates and MRT stations. The common parcel lockers will reduce inefficiencies in last-mile fulfilment and also overcome the high cost of investing into the physical infrastructure. Earlier this year, 15 logistics firms and industry partners came on board to participate in the locker network project and form a Locker Alliance.
4. Through the Locker Alliance, the Government and private sector players have come together to form a strong public-private partnership where the industry can enjoy benefits of scale, for smoother, swifter and more efficient deliveries.
5. Beyond the physical lockers, this parcel locker system also comprises an interoperable digital platform (known as Interoperability Platform). This Interoperability Platform connects various locker networks and provides open access to logistics service providers. It offers a seamless, secure and consistent experience for industry players across the parcel delivery process. Online retailers and logistics service providers will be able to extend their delivery to any locker in the network, while locker operators get to maximize the utilization of their assets. This enables industry players to work with one another to reach more and deliver more.
For residents, greater convenience and consumer choice
6. An extensive locker network enables residents to collect their purchases conveniently from a locker station near their homes or along their daily train commute, any time of the day, any day of the week. This is even if the parcels come from different online vendors and merchants. Customers who wish to return parcels can do so very easily at any HDB locker station. It’s simple, it’s smart, and it saves them from waiting for the doorbell.
7. In the coming months, we will be conducting outreach events to residents in the pilot estates (in Punggol and Bukit Panjang) on the benefits of this new delivery option.
For Singapore, better opportunities for how we live, work, and play
8. Our couriers will enjoy the benefits of convenience too. A single delivery point, the locker station, transforms and re-designs a courier’s delivery experience. Even as their deliveries increase, their task is less laborious, and their jobs more productive, making the industry, as a whole, more attractive. By improving delivery efficiency, we also minimise our carbon footprint and relieve traffic congestion by delivery vehicles. This helps to make our city more sustainable and more liveable.
Looking ahead: Regional Locker Alliance
9. The possibilities of a Locker Alliance go beyond Singapore, to the region, where e-commerce is also growing rapidly. Last month (Nov 2018), we signed the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce, paving the way for the region to buy and sell goods more seamlessly. In line with this, there is interest from regional players to develop greater connectivity amongst locker networks.
10. I am pleased to announce that IMDA has signed an MOI with three regional locker operators – Thailand’s Box 24, Hong Kong’s Pakpobox and Indonesia’s Popbox Asia, to explore developing a regional locker alliance that looks to support uplifting the last-mile delivery capabilities in the region. Having a network of lockers spanning various countries would also create new opportunities for retailers and e-commerce marketplaces, when they can more easily deliver on customer expectations across borders. It could also help last-mile fulfilment service providers scale up their businesses in the region, without establishing a physical, in-country presence.
11. The Locker Alliance pilot is key to our strategy in transforming our urban logistics infrastructure. We look forward to an improved experience for our residents and a close partnership with our current industry partners. We would also like to encourage more industry partners to come forward to join the Locker Alliance.
12. Thank you.