Up to 200 smart locker stations to be deployed by April; target to have all 1,000 stations up by end-2021

The first phase of the roll-out will see 200 locker stations deployed at HDB estates, MRT stations and community centres. ST PHOTO: YONG LI XUAN

SINGAPORE - The first batch of up to 200 smart locker stations will be rolled out by April in several estates including those in West Coast, Toa Payoh, Pasir Ris and Tampines, following a successful year-long trial that started in December 2018.

The nationwide network of all 1,000 locker stations is planned for full roll-out by the end of 2021. They are to be deployed within a five-minute walk of Housing Board blocks.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann revealed the roll-out dates in Parliament during the debate on the Ministry of Communications and Information's budget on Tuesday (March 2). She was responding to questions from several MPs on plans to transform the postal and logistics sector.

"The parcel locker network is expected to reduce distance travelled for delivery by 44 per cent daily, and this will go a long way to reducing carbon emissions," said Ms Sim.

Mr Edward Chia (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) had asked about efforts to ensure environmental sustainability in the logistics sector amid a rise in e-commerce and increase in parcel deliveries.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Bukit Panjang) and Mr Sitoh Yih Pin (Potong Pasir) had also asked about the ministry's plans to transform the postal landscape to meet consumers' needs, given the rise and popularity of e-commerce.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority's wholly owned subsidiary Pick Network, which will deploy, own and operate the locker network, started collecting online feedback from residents last year, such as by placing mock-up lockers with QR codes in HDB estates.

The majority of residents, or 96 per cent of about 10,000 residents surveyed, said the lockers will bring them convenience and that they will use the locker stations in their neighbourhood, said Ms Sim.

The first phase of the roll-out will see 200 locker stations deployed at HDB estates, MRT stations and community centres.

Ms Sim also provided updates on SingPost's trial of PostPal, a smart letterbox system that will store mail for an entire housing block. PostPal's key features include an auto-sorting function that helps postmen sort and distribute mail to the right unit in the block.

Since the trial was launched in December last year, SingPost has seen a 75 per cent increase in productivity for its postmen.

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