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IDA, Spring and CMT collaborate to boost last-mile delivery to retailers

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The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Spring Singapore and CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) Management have signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) to launch an In-Mall Distribution (IMD) trial at Tampines Mall and Bedok Mall.

THE Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Spring Singapore and CapitaLand Mall Trust (CMT) Management have signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) to launch an In-Mall Distribution (IMD) trial at Tampines Mall and Bedok Mall.

The trial will pilot a dock scheduler and queue management system which enables logistic service providers (LSPs) and tenants with their own delivery fleet to book specific delivery timings at the mall. This can reduce traffic congestion and trucks queuing outside the malls by ensuring that delivery timings do not clash.

An innovative "change of custody" system will also be introduced to improve efficiency during the handing and taking over process of deliveries.

Handover processes from LSPs to retailers contribute to long waiting time for truck drivers outside malls because receivers need to manually count items.

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This change of custody system secures and registers the inventory of items at the shipment level electronically, allowing receivers to know the number of items received. This frees receivers from manually counting items, streamlining processes further.

Secondly, the IMD includes the creation of In-Mall Logistics Operators (IMO). Services of these operators include being stationed within the mall to receive and consolidate deliveries from suppliers before making the distribution to retailers.

The IMOs can also perform additional roles such as providing value-added services including unloading bay facility management and security pass issuance, and concierge services such as luggage deposit, meal delivery for food and beverage establishments, and goods' transfers for retailers. This can encourage new opportunities of employment in Singapore.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, who witnessed the signing of the MOI, said: "The In-mall Distribution concept is a key initiative developed under the Infocomm Media 2025 Plan. As a highly urbanised city-state, Singapore is well aware that demand on its infrastructure will only increase."

"Using infocomm media technology to increase the efficiency and productivity for urban logistics in the retail sector is a significant step in the right direction," said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs. "This will result in a win-win for businesses and consumers as well. The government is committed in its push for urban logistics innovations and we are glad to see the industry coming together to pilot this initiative."

The trial is expected to benefit an estimated 300 retailers. If the pilots prove to be successful, this concept may be adopted at other shopping malls owned or managed by the CapitaLand Group in Singapore.

In addition to IMD, nationwide Offsite flow through Consolidation Centres (OCC) are also being explored as part of the Urban Logistics Programme to enhance the processes of the logistics sector.

This aims to optimise truck efficiencies, by enabling trucks with less-than-full loads to consolidate and sort their goods in an OCC before delivering to malls.

These goods can then be re-loaded and then delivered to their intended destinations on a single truck within the same day. This reduces the number of trucks going to the same destination and improves truck load utilisation.

The concept was first mooted in the Infocomm Media 2025. IDA will work with retailers to understand their delivery demands, leading to call-for-proposals for LSPs to propose their service offering to manage such OCC operations.

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