Singapore’s Ministry of Communications & Information (MCI) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have updated the Postal Services Act (PSA) to allow the deployment of a nationwide network of parcel lockers to complement the existing letterbox infrastructure, among other amendments.
The introduction of the open-access parcel lockers1 will benefit e-commerce users, as SMEs and businesses digitalize and e-commerce continues to grow in the near future.2 In addition, the PSA amendments will improve logistics service providers’ access to letterboxes for the delivery of non-letters3 and strengthen IMDA’s regulatory oversight of the postal sector and its infrastructure.
The PSA amendments will allow IMDA, as the appointed postal authority, to establish, install, operate and maintain the public parcel locker network at specified premises, such as HDB estates (public housing), public transport nodes, and community centers and clubs managed by the People’s Association. This will help address the current fragmentation of the parcel lockers and minimize duplication of locker infrastructure.
The amendments will also provide for access to selected public spaces and facilities for the deployment of the parcel locker network and provide IMDA with enforcement powers to ensure the safe use and operation of the network.
The PSA amendments will allow other postal licensees, delivery service providers and online merchants to deliver small packets and other non-letters into letterboxes through the public postal licensee (i.e. SingPost), at regulated terms and conditions. This will further facilitate competition in last-mile delivery services. IMDA will also require building owners to maintain or provide letterboxes after they take over a property from building developers. This will make clear the parties responsible for providing and maintaining letterboxes, and ensure that letter delivery is not disrupted.
Robin Goh, a spokesperson at Singapore Post Limited, commented, “Amendments to the Postal Services Act are very timely, given the steady uptrend in e-commerce volumes in recent years, culminating in the surge experienced last year due to Covid-19. This is also in line with SingPost’s Future of Post project, where we are retooling our processes and assets for an e-commerce-fueled future. As Singapore’s national postal service provider, SingPost looks forward to working with IMDA and the industry to bring an unprecedented level of convenience and accessibility to residents, and further Singapore’s Smart Nation cause.”
1) The parcel lockers will be available for use by all logistics service providers, e-commerce marketplaces and their customers
2) The e-commerce sector in Singapore is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% from 2020 to 2025, according to industry estimates from e-Conomy Southeast Asia 2020, a report by Bain & Company, Temasek and Google on the internet economy in Southeast Asia. (http://www.bain.com/insights/e-conomy-sea-2020)
3) Non-letters refers to any article transmissible by post, including e-commerce items, that can be delivered into letterboxes and are not written communications/letters