Collection of parcels gets easier

Collection of parcels gets easier
CONVENIENCE:Customers can now pick up packages from convenience stores.

Consumers can now collect parcels from convenience stores, with the e-commerce boom prompting two logistics companies to allow such services from this week.

United Parcel Service (UPS) announced yesterday that its customers can now pick up packages from 20 7-Eleven convenience stores at Shell petrol stations, at no extra charge, if a delivery man is not able to reach them at their shipping address first.

DHL Express launched a similar service on Monday at 17 FairPrice Xpress and Cheers outlets at locations including Esso petrol stations and MRT stations.

Said Ms Ingrid Sidiadinoto, the managing director of UPS Singapore: "The online shopping market in Singapore is projected to reach $4.4 billion by next year, and UPS customers have raised concerns about not being available to sign off on their purchases when they arrive."

Mr Herbert Vongpusanachai, the senior vice-president and managing director of DHL Express Singapore, added: "As e-commerce continues to take the city-state by storm, this consumer-centric initiative is a major step forward."

Over the next six months, DHL Express will nearly double the number of places where its new service is offered to 30 stores, up from the current 17.

The new services offered by UPS and DHL Express come with conditions.

For UPS, collection at convenience stores is only allowed if a delivery man is not able to reach a customer first at the original shipping location, and if a package is from a partner online store.

Meanwhile, DHL Express allows all purchases from the American online market place comGateway, which has millions of online stores like Amazon and eBay under it.

Also, users of its service can have their parcels delivered directly to participating FairPrice and Cheers outlets. They will receive a text message notification when their package is ready for collection.

Market research firm Euromonitor International estimates that Singapore consumers will spend more than $1 billion online this year, 9 per cent more than the $960 million last year.

Last year, local postal service SingPost introduced POPStations, which are automated kiosks where people can post and pick up parcels.

Online shoppers are glad that such options have become more widely available.

Said engineer Chin Kairong, 28: "Usually, I have to make sure someone is at home to collect my parcels, but now, I at least have the choice of collecting them as and when it is convenient for me."

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