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SingPost to introduce new rates for small packages, end doorstep deliveries

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SingPost said that a surge in e-commerce volumes had strained the mail system and led to heavier loads and more doorstep deliveries for postmen.

[SINGAPORE] SingPost customers who take advantage of low basic postal rates to send small packages domestically will soon have to pay more to do so, as the postal service provider revises its services to cope with the e-commerce boom.

From Dec 2, only letters and printed papers weighing up to 500g will be accepted under a new basic mail category that will replace ordinary mail, SingPost said in a statement on Oct 30.

Postage rates for such mail will remain unchanged at between 30 cents and S$1.70, depending on weight and size.

Currently, mail items between 501g and 2kg can be sent domestically as ordinary mail, costing up to S$3.35 for a 2kg item. SingPost will be replacing this option with two new categories: basic package and tracked package.

Basic packages of up to 2kg will cost between 90 cents and S$3.50, while tracked packages will be priced between S$3.20 and S$4.80 and offer delivery progress tracking as well as notifications for the recipient.

Doorstep deliveries for packages sent through SingPost will effectively cease from Dec 2, as all items sent through these services will be delivered to recipients' letterboxes.

Currently, ordinary mail items including parcels under 2kg are delivered to recipients' letterboxes.

However, the postman has to make a doorstep delivery if an item cannot fit into a letterbox because it is too large or the box is cluttered.

SingPost said the changes are aimed at streamlining the definitions of mail and package items, and increasing efficiency.

It noted that a surge in e-commerce volumes had strained the mail system and led to heavier loads and more doorstep deliveries for postmen.

The domestic registered article service, which provides additional security by requiring the recipient's signature, will also be renamed Registered Service (Singapore) and accept only letters and printed papers up to 500g.

"This is to realign the intent of the service, originally designed to offer secure delivery and tracked receipt of important letters and documents," SingPost said, adding that customers have been using it to send packages, which has put a strain on the service.

Customers sending heavier items may consider using the tracked package service for letterbox deliveries or Speedpost courier services for doorstep deliveries, a spokesman said.

HIGHER INTERNATIONAL AIRMAIL RATES

Separately, international airmail rates will also be be going up to account for rising rates charged by foreign postal operators to SingPost, which has been absorbing yearly increases since 2014.

Airmail rates for letters, printed papers and postcards will increase by 20 cents for deliveries to Malaysia and Brunei, and by 10 cents to all other countries.

The Registered Service (International) fee will also be revised to S$3.60 up from the current S$2.50, in addition to the applicable postage fees.

These rate revisions will be paid to postal operators of destination countries, in response to the increase in charges for their delivery of postal items from Singapore.

All changes will take effect on Dec 2.

SingPost's Singapore head and chief executive of postal services Vincent Phang said in a statement that the changes follow a thorough review of postal operations.

"Among the numerous feedback received, tracking and letterbox deliveries were preferred by customers as compared to waiting at home for doorstep deliveries," he said.

The new services are the "natural next steps in the transformation of Singapore's postal services," said Mr Phang.

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