More places to pack and post packages

With online spending here tipped to pass the $4 billion mark this year, Singapore Post is making a bigger play to help individual traders and small businesses which sell goods online.

Its Lock+Store warehouse in Serangoon North allows them to store their goods and also offers a counter service so they can pack and post them to buyers - saving them a trip to the post office.

SingPost group chief executive officer Wolfgang Baier said the idea was trialled in October last year to tap the rising e-commerce opportunities here.

"Small businesses and blogshop owners who store their goods at Lock+Store will benefit the most," he added.

The Serangoon North centre was chosen to pioneer the idea, as more than 30 per cent of the island's registered articles and packages come from the north-east region.

A manned counter at the reception helps customers with their packages and registered articles.

Customers can also choose to pay for a shipping label on SingPost's ezy2ship webpage by entering their shipment details. They then drop off the parcel with the label on it at Lock+Store's reception counter.

The remaining Lock+Store facilities in Ayer Rajah Crescent, Chai Chee and Tanjong Pagar DistriPark will also provide the service if there is sufficient demand.

SingPost's 60 post offices islandwide handle a total of four million domestic packages a month, of which a third comprises e-commerce packages, or goods that people buy and sell online.

Although there is no breakdown on how many of the packages are delivered by local sellers through blogshops and e-marketplaces, Ms Loh Pei Ying, analyst at British-based market research firm Euromonitor International, said that they are a rising force.

"Local sellers deliver faster than overseas ones and are popular with buyers here," she said.

Last year, online spending here exceeded $1 billion, up 13 per cent year on year, Euromonitor data shows.

Meanwhile a PayPal survey predicts that online spending here is tipped to hit $4.4 billion this year.

Ms Loh said SingPost faces competition from delivery companies that have joined the market, such as Ninja Van and Ta-Q-Bin.

SingPost's expanded services have provided a boost for Ms Ong Kai Ling, owner of blogshop Steward's Little, which sells children's clothes.

The 34-year-old used to store her goods at her home in Serangoon and posting them meant a 20-minute bus ride to the post office at Serangoon Gardens before a 15-minute wait in the queue.

"Now I just go downstairs to mail out customers' orders; it's that convenient," she said.

This article was first published on Jan 13, 2015.
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