Southeast Asia E-Commerce: Regional Locker Network a new booster?
Rapid urbanization and a young tech savvy population have been driving ASEAN's Internet Economy, which is expected to hit 240 billion US dollars by 2025. And e-commerce is a huge piece of that pie. While online purchases have seen a steady increase, last mile, on-time delivery has been a huge bottleneck in Southeast Asia. An initiative led by Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority is attempting to overcome some of the challenges. CGTN's Miro Lu reports.
If you live in Punggol then collecting your online shopping goods just got a whole lot easier. You no longer have to coordinate with the delivery service nor do you have to be at home to collect the parcel. Instead you can pick your shopping from lockers installed at locations near your home or work at a time of your convenience. The same lockers can also be used to return the parcels to e-commerce platforms. These are part of a government-led initiative to create a 'Locker Alliance'.
NEW SOON TEE CLUSTER DIRECTOR, TRADE & CONNECTIVITY, IMDA "Customer will find very convenient, at their own time, at their own most convenient location to pick up the parcel. For LSP (logistic service providers), it will be targeting at improving their delivery efficiency because, instead of delivering to the homes now they can drop multiple parcels at each delivery station. It also is targeting at the market places where it can extend the reach for them to be able to deliver to consumer at the most convenient location.
The lockers can potentially cater to 78,000 households in the two neighborhoods that are part of the pilot. One of the locker operators is SingPost, Singapore's National postal service provider and a leading e-commerce and logistics operator.
PATRICK KWOK, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT PARCEL STRATEGY, SINGPOST "This initiative will help to accelerate the transformation of the logistics industry in Singapore. It enhances the e-commerce growth in the market and it helps to improve the productivity."
MIRO LU SINGAPORE "The locker initiative hopes to streamline last-mile delivery. Many of those lockers are conveniently located at subway stations and parking lots of housing estates like this one. Singapore's IMDA is working on establishing a regional locker network to improve cross-border e-commerce transactions. It has signed initial agreements with locker operators in Thailand, Hong Kong SAR and Indonesia."
If successful, the IMDA believes it could address the issue of point-to-point integration. It essentially will help customers to order products from locations that don't normally deliver to Singapore and vice versa. Lazada, Taobao, Esprit, Qoo10 are some of the e-commerce partners for the pilot project. Lazada, Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platform, believes that collection points can ensure scalability and efficiency.
FELIX HOCHGESAND, CEO LAZADA E-LOGISTICS, SOUTHEAST ASIA "We are working with different partners to have the widest range available to our customers. Because one key ask of the customer is convenience, so we believe that collection points can give an answer to that request of the customer."
Though barely a month old, the pilot has already started generating some interest among online shoppers. And with the Chinese New Year and Valentine's day right around the corner, IMDA expects that the locker collection service will help ease the last-mile delivery hassle during those peak periods. Miro Lu, CGTN, Singapore