Forget Amazon Prime. Demand Singapore shipping, instead

Wherever you live, you need “Singapore-like” shipping.

I have been proposing for at least ten months something that was already being deployed, somewhere. That’s great. Now, the only thing that is left is to make it global!

My quest for really smart shipping

In the last year or so, I have covered the real problem with smart package delivery systems, the horrors of (some!) independent online book sellers and warned that SLOW delivery is more important than bicycle delivery. All while calling for transforming Amazon into a SLOW, but above all really global, open STANDARD.

But only now I have discovered how Singapore (and others, surely) are paving the road to get there with real-world tests, and deployments. How consciously they are doing what I called for, I don’t know, but they definitely seem to be looking in the right direction.

Singapore teaches delivery

Forget Amazon Prime. Demand Singapore shipping, instead /img/singapore-shipping.jpg

What I only discovered now, from March 2020, is the way “Singapore is leading the way in last-mile innovation” by going “out-of-home”.

Concretely, Singapore is working to build a national locker network of 1,000 locations, that is 1.8 locations per 10,000 inhabitants. The goal is to place a locker station around five minutes’ walk from every HDB block, but even other public locations would be covered (HDB is Singapore’s public housing authority, the Housing and Development Board (HDB)).

Results from a pilot in December 2018 showed that, with more coverage, thanks to such a network a driver could deliver 550 to 600 parcels per day. That’s efficiency, but is not the real news, that is the reason I was so pleased to discover this project, and you should too.

The real value of that island-wide network is that it is carrier-neutral, that is open to "all the logistics players and to all e-commerce platforms". All e-commerce and logistics service providers will be able to use it.

That’s the way to go with shipping!

Out-of-Home, via neutral lockers as in Singapore, or via “PUDOs”, that is Pick Up, Drop Off points. This is real innovation, not the shopping bulimia of Amazon Prime or, of course, any incarnation of same-day or next-day at-home delivery.

Yes, there already are Amazon lockers worldwide, but they are still exceptions, thanks to Amazon Prime, and above all they are proprietary. Any other shipping organization should build its own lockers to compete.

If Singapore-like locker networks became the rule worldwide, instead… The total financial and environmental saving in infrastructure costs would be huge, equal only to the beneficial effects of discouraging impulse shopping.

Wherever you live, you need “all and neutral”, Singapore-like shipping". Demand it.