SingPost customers to get SMS alerts before delivery, thanks to AI in new platform planned for 2019

SingPost said sending such alerts will bring about greater convenience to customers, especially in the denser cities in the region, such as Bangkok and Jakarta.
SingPost said sending such alerts will bring about greater convenience to customers, especially in the denser cities in the region, such as Bangkok and Jakarta.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Those expecting parcels delivered to their homes will be able to receive an SMS alert 30 minutes before the courier arrives when Singapore Post rolls out its last-mile platform with artificial intelligence (AI) features next year.

SingPost announced on Monday (Dec 10) that it is working with San Francisco-based logistics optimisation company LogiNext to tap machine learning and AI route-planning software in its new LastMile Platform (LaMP), which will serve South-east Asia.

LogiNext's software will be able to analyse and proactively alert stakeholders, including customers, on courier movements, SingPost said in a statement.

Sending such alerts will bring about greater convenience to customers, especially in the denser cities in the region, such as Bangkok and Jakarta, it added.

Currently, customers are given vague parcel arrival times due to a variety of factors, including traffic and weather conditions.

With LogiNext's capabilities, multiple GPS tracking systems and APIs can be connected and accessed via a single screen called the control tower.

Another key feature of LaMP would be its ability to autonomously plot the best courier delivery routes, based on factors such as parcel destinations, customer preferences and real-time traffic and weather data.

 
 

Customer preferences would include preferred times for delivery and "blackout" periods.

SingPost group chief digital and technology officer Alex Tan said that introducing AI to its platform will translate into convenience for customers.

LogiNext chief executive officer Dhruvil Sanghvi said: "Couriers have much better planned routes, so they can handle more parcels.

"It's a win-win for everyone - SingPost raises its already high delivery agility and the customer gets a much better experience with it."

SingPost customers told The Straits Times that the SMS alerts would allow them to better anticipate when their parcels would arrive and make plans in advance, instead of having to wait at home for the entire day.

Mr Dave Quek, a 26-year-old engineer, said: "It doesn't make sense for me to wait at home all day if I don't know when my delivery is going to arrive. I usually give up waiting and end up going to the post office to pick it up, but it can be quite inconvenient."

"With the SMS alerts, I can at least go for a meal or run an errand, before coming back home to receive the parcel," said Mr Quek, who had parcels from the United States delivered via SingPost in the last two months.

In the statement, SingPost said that it is in the midst of integrating LogiNext's route planning AI software into LaMP, and the process is expected to be completed next year.