Singapore may be tiny and well-connected, but you may not always be in the mood to take the MRT to meet up with that buyer from Carousell who won't try to bargain for another $5 off your anniversary edition G-Shock once they meet up in person. Promise!
To avoid these and other pesky encounters, why not send your parcel using a courier service instead? From small letters to bulky furniture and appliances, for delivery within the hour or the week, you have no lack of options to choose from.
Here's our guide to courier services in Singapore - prices range of couriers, when to use which one, what to watch out for, and how to avoid overspending when getting your parcels couriered.
CHEAPEST COURIERS FOR SMALL PARCELS (UP TO 3KG)
|SingPost||$0.90 to $3.50 (up to 2kg)
$3.20 to $4.80, tracked (up to 2kg)
$3.20 to $4.70 (SmartPac, up to 3kg)
|2 to 3 working days||Delivery to mailbox or doorstep.
Doorstep delivery only with tracked or Registered Mail (+$2.24)
|TaQbin||$9 to $30||Next day (default) or up to 1 week (pick a date)||Rates dependent on size of packages only; great for compact but heavy items, such as books or electronics.|
When you only need to send a small and/or light parcel, your most economical choices are SingPost and TaQbin.
SingPost, as you may know, is Singapore's national mail carrier, and offers myriad options for all your parcel delivery needs. For parcels up to 2kg, SingPost standard mail service will do you nicely, being both affordable and reasonably quick. Packages normally get delivered in 2 or 3 business days.
For extra peace of mind, you can also opt for mail tracking and/or registered mail service, which not only allows you or your sender to keep updated of the parcel's whereabouts, but also lets you choose between doorstep or mailbox delivery.
If your item is a little bit heavier (up to 3kg), choose SmartPac, which provides essentially the same service at slightly higher rates.
Now, for TaQbin, the Japanese delivery company charges only by the size of the item. This makes TaQbin one of your cheaper choices if you are shipping small but heavy items, such as books, ceramics, and electronics.
However, you'll need to ship at least 3 packages at once (or be a corporate customer) to qualify for item pickup. Otherwise, you'll need to bring your parcels to a TaQbin dropoff point near you, but you'll get a $1 discount for your trouble.
By default, TaQbin practices next-day delivery. If this is somehow not suitable, you can specify a delivery date up to one week out.
CHEAPEST COURIERS FOR MEDIUM PARCELS (UP TO 8KG)
|Park N Parcel||$3 (up to 8kg)||3 working days||Parcel transfer service
Max parcel dimensions (W+H+L) 100cm
|Qxpress (Standard)||$4.30 (up to 5kg)||2 working days, 10am to 7pm||Max parcel dimensions (W+H+L) 160cm|
|UParcel||$11 (up to 8kg)||Next day||Max parcel dimensions (W+H+L) 100cm|
|GrabExpress – Bike||$6 + $1/km for first 5 km, then + $0.70/km thereafter (up to 5kg)||Same day, 8am to 11pm||Parcel dimensions: 32x25x12cm|
|LalaMove||$10 + $0.30/km (up to 8kg)||Same day||Parcel dimensions: 40x25x25cm|
If you're looking to ship medium-sized parcels around the 5kg to 8kg range, you'll have some options.
By far, the cheapest courier service for items up to 8kg is Park N Parcel, with charges per delivery for as low as $3. However, rather than being a true courier service, Park N Parcel functions as a parcel transfer service, bringing your parcel from a point near you to a point near your recipient within 3 working days.
Qxpress, the delivery arm of online retailer Qoo10 also offers courier service to the public for competitive rates. Their Standard service is an affordable flat-fee option and delivers within 2 working days. Packages are limited to under 5kg though.
Another courier to consider if you prefer to deal with flat fees is UParcel, which offers next-day delivery for packages weighing up to 8kg for $11 per trip.
Alternatively, try GrabExpress - Bike for same-day delivery of packages up to 5kg in weight. Note though that this is a distance-based service, and depending on how far your parcel needs to travel, might not be the most economical option.
However, GrabExpress (Bike or Car, see below) charges a flat fee for items returned to you. You may find this preferable over other couriers, who may bill you a full trip for returns.
LalaMove is another great option for medium sized parcels up to 8kg. The company offers same-day delivery service, and charges by the distance as well. Once again, it's wise to get a quote to compare before making an order, especially if your recipient is all the way across our fair island.
CHEAPEST COURIERS FOR LARGE PARCELS (UP TO 30KG)
|Yojee||$18 (up to 30kg)||Next day||Parcel dimensions: 53x53x53cm|
|Qxpress (Standard)||$22.50 (up to 30kg)||2 working days, 10am to 7pm||Max parcel dimensions (W+H+L) 160cm|
|UParcel||$24 (up to 25kg)||Next day||Max parcel dimensions (W+H+L) 200cm|
|GrabExpress – Car||$9 + $1.2/km for first 5 km, then + $0.70/km thereafter (up to 20kg)||Same day, 10am to 4pm||Parcel dimensions: 70x50x50cm|
|LalaMove||$15 + $0.40/km (up to 20kg)||Same day||Parcel dimensions: 70x50x50cm|
Now for larger parcels up to 30kg, we found that Yojee offers the cheapest courier service, at a flat $18 for next-day delivery. They also offer one free re-delivery per order, in case the original delivery is somehow missed. It works like this:
- Day 1: Pick-up
- Day 2: Delivery
- Day 3: Re-delivery (if delivery fails on Day 2)
Other good courier options for large parcels are Qxpress (Standard), UParcel and LalaMove that we've discussed in the previous section. Their respective services remain unchanged, with the exception of service fees.
If you're sticking with GrabExpress, be sure to choose the car option to accommodate your large delivery package. You're limited to a maximum of 20kg, though.
CHEAPEST COURIERS FOR BULKY ITEMS
|Get Van||Regular: $25 + $0.80/km or $40/hr + $35/subsequent hr
Large: $30 + $0.80/km or $52/hr + $47/subsequent hr
X-Large: $60 + $1/km or $80/hr + $70/subsequent hr
|Instant, with 60 to 120 mins advance booking||Dimensions LxWxH: 1.4×1.4×1.4m
No weight limit
|LalaMove||$30 + $0.50/km (up to 350kg). Addn stop: $8
$38 + $0.50/km (up to 500kg). Addn stop: $11
|Same day||Dimensions LxWxH:
1.6×1.2×1.0m (1.7m van)
2.3×1.2×1.2m (2.4m lorry)
Now, when you need to deliver bulky and heavy items, such as furniture or appliances, going to a moving company may not be the best idea. For one, they may require a minimum order before they can accept your delivery. You may jolly well end up paying for an entire truck, when all you need is probably half or a third of the capacity.
We found two couriers in Singapore that can help you with your bulky item delivery without you having to pay through the nose. First off, Get Van lets you choose from three levels of service, determined by the size of your item only. There's no weight limit, so yay!
Plus, you can choose from two pricing schemes - one, a distance-based fare, and the other an hourly fee. Choose the latter if you have multiple stops. Delivery is instant, but do allow up to 2 hours response time upon placing your order.
The second company is LalaMove, which can courier up to 350kg or 500kg, depending on the service you choose. Both charge a distance-based fare, and delivery is carried out on a same-day basis.
CHEAPEST COURIERS FOR INSTANT DELIVERY
|UParcel||$20 (up to 1kg)
$22 (up to 5kg)
$24 (up to 8kg)
$26 (up to 10kg)
$29 (up to 15kg)
$32 (up to 20kg)
$35 (up to 25kg)
|Within 1 hour||Package type and parcel size limits apply|
|Fast Fast||Get a quote (up to 50kg)||90 mins||Choose from delivery vehicles that include bicycles, motorcycles, cars or vans|
|Qxpress (Quick delivery)||$5.99 for first 10km + $0.50/km thereafter (up to 30kg)||1 to 2 hours upon pick-up||Parcel dimensions: Up to 200cm (max length each side 100cm)|
|Yojee||$14 to $36 (up to 5kg)
$16 to $40 (6 to 10kg)
$20 to $44 (11 to 20kg)
$24 to $50 (21 to 30kg)
|Within 3 hours||Rates depend on distance, parcel size limits apply|
For those times when delivery needs to be virtually instant (like for time-sensitive documents or, say, dial-a-sashimi!), there are a good number of options for you to choose from.
Promising the speediest delivery of them all is UParcel that saves the day with 1-hour delivery. We like that prices are decent and straightforward: A flat-fee charged per trip, topping off at $35. You can urgently ship a parcel up to 25kg this way.
Up next is Fast Fast with its 90min service, and a fare structure that is based on distance, item type, vehicle type, weight and extra charges. Luckily, you can simply request for a quote on their website to find out how much your delivery will cost you.
Qxpress (Quick) will get your package where it needs to go within 2 hours upon pickup, and accepts up to 30kg in parcel weight. Because Qxpress (Quick) charges a distance-based fee, but has the same weight restrictions as the slower Qxpress (Standard) service (see above), the former may prove to be the cheaper option.
And rounding out the list is Yojee, which offers 3 hour delivery on demand. Charges are based on distance travelled as well as the weight tier your parcel belongs to. You'll also have to make sure your parcel is of an eligible dimension.
GENERAL TIPS AND THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN SENDING COURIERS
PRICING AND PARCEL SIZE
Be aware that different couriers charge differently - some charge a flat fee per trip, others charge by distance, and some by the hour. Also, in most cases, the weight and size of your parcel factors into the price, but some couriers only care about the size.
Also, different couriers measure parcel size differently. Some couriers allow your parcel size up to a limit derived by adding length + width + height. Others go by the more traditional volume restriction, i.e, length x width x height. In practice, this will likely only be a concern if you are trying to deliver oddly-shaped parcels.
Getting quotes from different couriers to suss out the most suitable option for your specific delivery needs is always a good idea.
While delivery fees may be upfront, other charges may not. Most couriers have a schedule of surcharges and fees that may apply to your delivery. Some common ones are drop-offs in the CBD area and Changi Airport and/or its surroundings. Deliveries during certain time slots may also attract surcharges.
Another common (but often overlooked) cause of extra charges are missed deliveries. Your courier may offer a free re-delivery, a flat fee for bringing the item back, or charge you for a whole new trip for bringing the item back to the warehouse. You may also be subject to cancellation fees if you decide not to go ahead with the delivery for some reason.
With some couriers, you may be able to add on additional stops, which allows you to courier more than one parcel. Look out for discounted rates, so if you can line up your parcels to go out on the same day and have substantial savings.
This article was first published in Singsaver.com.sg.