Improvements needed in last-mile delivery service

My recent brushes with Singapore Post suggest much more needs to be done to improve its services in the ever-growing last-mile delivery business ("You've got mail... but it's lost in transit / More postmen in past two years"; Nov 1).

There are several problems with the current system.

Overseas sellers engage local agents to ship the items here. These agents would then work with an entity like SingPost to make the door-to-door delivery to recipients in Singapore.

Overseas players use a different tracking number that often ends up "dead" on inquiry, while SingPost uses its own tracking numbers.

Customers have to make calls to "link" these numbers in order to get meaningful information of the delivery status.

Deliverymen leave a note for failed deliveries. Sometimes, the note goes missing and never reaches the recipient.

The recipient does not know the existence of an attempted delivery, while the undelivered parcel is sent to a post office near the recipient.

However, as the recipient is still unaware of all this, the parcel would then be routed centrally to the SingPost headquarters in Eunos.

After five working days of the parcel not being claimed, the parcel is sent back to its place of origin.

More needs to be done at various levels to improve transparency, service and accountability along the delivery chain.

Henry Ong Ling Tiong