Challenges of having postboxes at housing blocks

Challenges of having postboxes at housing blocks
Mohamed Yusoff Haji Abdul Latiff, Postman of the Year.

We thank Mrs Seek Soo Geok for her suggestion ("Set up postboxes at housing blocks"; last Saturday).

SingPost constantly reviews how we can strike an effective balance between offering greater convenience to our customers, and, at the same time, meeting our stringent service standards, that is, 99 per cent and 98 per cent of letter-mail have to be delivered by the next working day to addresses within the Central Business District and outside the CBD respectively.

Mail collection and delivery services are performed separately for practical and efficiency reasons.

These two functions operate under different time windows. A dedicated team of postmen will collect mail from the posting boxes after the respective cut-off times for posting, that is, 5pm for outside the CBD and 7pm for within the CBD on Mondays to Thursdays, and an extended hour on Fridays.

With the current arrangement, the posting times are standardised islandwide, and also allow for longer posting windows.

Having postmen collect and deliver is impractical as posting cut-off times would vary from block to block, leading to confusion.

More importantly, delivery of mail will be slowed down significantly if postmen were to take on the additional task of collecting mail at every HDB block.

Such an arrangement will also affect the processing time for next-day delivery. In view of these, the two functions are separated for better efficiency and effectiveness.

Despite such operational concerns, SingPost conducted a six-month trial in Yishun in late 2004 to gauge demand. However, the response was poor.

For customers' convenience, SingPost has close to 1,000 posting points, including more than 800 posting boxes strategically located along the streets, near MRT stations, and at bus interchanges, selected petrol stations and shopping centres.

This article was first published on February 18, 2015.
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