Review of courier services in Singapore

Let us take a quick review of several Singapore courier companies and their services.

First up would be the famous PCAMasters. Having been founded in 2015, PCAMasters has already quickly developed and grew into a local behemoth. With over 20 to 30 couriers within the span of a few short months, this is clearly a testament to the rapid growth and capabilities of PCAMasters. They provide both document as well as parcel deliveries in Singapore. This is because they have a fleet of both motorcyclists as well as van or car drivers. You need to work with a company that offers both van (parcel) and motorcycle (bike) courier services if you want best rates for every type of courier service. Some companies only offer bike couriers and they would not be able to deliver big parcels of any kind. Other companies might only offer local Singapore van deliveries and so might charge you higher rates. PCAMasters is a good combination and an in between which works great for most local business deliveries in Singapore.

Second of all, it would be a review of Roadmasters. One of the oldest companies, Roadmasters was founded in the 1990s and have a good team of couriers. They perform relatively cheap deliveries and offer quick and reliable services. The only thing I feel about them is that some of their methods are slightly outdated (e.g. they do not incorporate technology into their business processes) or they are weird in the sense that Roadmasters charge different prices for the same delivery, same locations, same items but only because they’re transported by different vehicles (e.g. car vs motorcycles).

Third of all, let us take a review of Network Courier. Network courier is one of the oldest courier companies in Singapore. With a large fleet of couriers throughout Singapore, I would say that they’re also among one of the best companies in Singapore.

Insights on delivery jobs in Singapore

The delivery job market in Singapore is abundant. If you look at any of the Singapore job portals and newspapers, you can easily spot delivery jobs in Singapore. There are at least a hundred delivery jobs posted every week. The actual figure can go much higher than that. While delivery jobs are not the top choice for people because of its long working hours and tiring job scope, it can give you a decent stable income in Singapore.

Delivery jobs usually require people to work about 10 to 14 hours a day. Some logistics companies may ask its workers to work from 9am to 7pm while others may ask their workers to work from 8am to 10pm. It largely depends on the companies’ policies. Of course, the longer hours you work, the more income you should be getting for the job. Part of the criteria during the interview selection process is requiring the worker to be physically fit. The logistics companies may require the workers to provide medical proof of his physical fitness before officially hiring him. It is necessary due to the frequent carrying and transportation of goods around in Singapore. If you do not mind hard work, just treat the work as some form of exercise. You will be paid a decent salary of between 2 to 5 thousand a month as a delivery worker.

There are two types of delivery jobs in Singapore – full-time and contract jobs. Usually the biggest difference between these two jobs are that the company will provide the full-time workers with company vehicles. On the other hand, the contractors will need to have their own vehicle to carry out their job scope. Of course, the payout for contractors will be higher than the full-time workers to compensate them for their vehicle and petrol cost. Moreover, contractors may have the options to accept or reject jobs, unlike the full-timers.

If you are interested to be a delivery driver, I will highly recommend that you join PCA as a courier. PCA offers both full-time and contractor delivery driver positions and their employee benefits as well as payout are considered one of the best in the market.

Ease of engaging a courier or delivery service in Singapore

In Singapore, it is easy to engage a courier or delivery service from the logistics companies. You can easily do so via the following ways:

1. Online search
You can conduct an online search as long as you have a device with an internet connection. It doesn’t matter if you are using a laptop, computer, or a mobile phone. All of these device have internet browsers that enable you to visit websites. Most logistics companies in Singapore have developed their own business websites. Furthermore, these websites are mobile friendly so the websites appear user-friendly regardless of the device used to access their websites.

You can find these logistics websites easily by searching for them via the search engines such as Google or Yahoo. On the website, you may be able to register an account with them and book your delivery service with them right away. Payment will usually be upfront this way as they will ask for your credit card number before confirming your delivery booking.

2. Call
If you know the logistics companies’ office phone number (I personally recommend using PCA Masters, #06-76 Midview City, 22 Sin Ming Dr, Singapore 573969 Contact: 6681 5781 –, you can give them a call anytime during the office hour to make arrangements for your delivery. If you do not, you can easily find their numbers on their websites too. Some of them may also conduct traditional form of marketing such as flyers and banners display so you will be find to find them via the flyers or banners too.

3. Email
With an internet connection, you can easily drop the logistics companies an email detailing your delivery requests anywhere, anytime. Similar to the above, you can find out the email addresses of the logistics companies via their websites.

Long gone are the days where you rely on yellow pages to find out details on companies in Singapore. With internet, you can easily discover these logistics companies and make arrangements with them.

Do remember to make advance booking for your delivery, especially if the volume is big as the logistics company may need some lead time to plan for your delivery.

Well developed logistics industry in Singapore

The logistics industry in Singapore is well developed. Open up to free competition, there are multiple medium-sized and large-sized logistics companies in Singapore. Each of them have their own unique value proposition and offers similar pricing to customers. The market share is quite evenly spread out among the multiple players. No one player is dominant in the logistics industry in Singapore.

The demand and supply of Singapore delivery services are high. This is expected as Singapore is an international trading and business hub. There are a lot of large international companies setting up offices in Singapore. Hence, with higher number of companies and businesses running in Singapore, more demand for logistics services will be generated. Manufacturing and retail companies generate the most demand for logistics services as a lot of the operations running in these companies require some form of logistics needs. For example, transporting the goods and products from the warehouse to the manufacturing plant or from the warehouse to the retail outlets. Even if the companies are not of manufacturing or retail nature, these companies will surely need to engage external logistics companies for services such as document or parcel deliveries in Singapore. Perhaps, they will engage the external logistics companies for the moving of their offices too. As Singapore holds a vital port between Asia and Europe, many ships dock and refuel in Singapore. Some of them may require warehousing needs for their cargo inventory too.

Despite these huge demand in logistics services, Singapore logistics players are coping well. Singapore delivery services are seen to be very efficient. Few incidents of late deliveries are reported in the community or social media platforms. I will attribute the reasons for this to the high state of technology used by the logistics companies and also the good physical road infrastructure in the country. Software are being used by the logistics companies to speed up the delivery operations and improve customer service. In addition, straight roads definitely help in the efficient delivery operations.

The Postal Services Licenses in Singapore

As a consumer, you probably do not have to know about it. However, the Postal Services Licenses in Singapore matter a lot to the new and existing logistics companies in Singapore. These Postal Services Licenses are required by law (through the Postal Services Act) before companies can commerce their postal operations in Singapore. The Postal Services Act regulates the postal services in Singapore, and is administered by the Info-Communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). IDA has the power to grant, modify and suspend licences, and to give directions, issue codes of practice and standards of performance for the postal services sector in Singapore.

There are two main types of Postal Services Licenses that postal companies in Singapore will need to take note of. Firstly, the license to be a Postal Services Operator in Singapore. A Postal Services Operator is able to provide domestic and international basic mail services in Singapore. Up till 2007, this basic mail services market was previously dominated by SingPost, the state-owned mail and logistics company in Singapore. SingPost was basically the monopoly in the market. SingPost was granted a 15-year exclusive right to convey by post between places in Singapore, and between places in Singapore and places outside Singapore, whether by land, by sea or by air, all letters and postcards, and to perform all the incidental services of receiving, collecting, sending, despatching and delivering of all letters and postcards i.e. basic mail services.

Secondly, the Local Express Letter license is required by companies which wish to provide local and/or international Express Letter services (delivery of letters within the same working day). One important regulation on the Local Express Letter Licensee is that the express letters must be physically acknowledged by the recipient.

While the mail services are being regulated, the parcel delivery services are still unregulated for the time being. Logistics companies in Singapore do not have to apply for any licenses to offer this parcel delivery service in Singapore.

Need quick deliveries in Singapore?

Sometimes, you just need urgent delivery services and you do not have the time and effort to deal with the hassles of working with SingPost registered mail because they have a lot of bureaucracy to overcome before you can come and close a delivery service contract with them. Also, you might only have 1 or 2 random parcels in a long time, and it makes no sense to engage SingPost courier services for that because they do not allow for that. The closest you have for that is registered mail. However, the disadvantage is that you need to travel all the way to a SingPost branch to get your item(s) delivered. If you’re like me, you hate travelling and prefer pick up services. In such a situation, getting an ad hoc courier delivery from a courier services company is your best choice.

Let us list down some advantages that an ad hoc courier delivery service in Singapore can bring you if you require quick deliveries.

  • When you call for ad hoc courier services, the courier company will dispatch a rider or driver to your collection point to pick up the item(s) from you or the sender. He or she will then pick it up at a designated time (by you) and then deliver it to the delivery point at another designated time (if you have any). This means that you choose the timings that you want. This saves you a lot of headaches and provides you lots of convenience because you would not longer need to sit down at home or in office during lunch hours waiting for the courier or deliveryman to pick things up or deliver you items. You would know when exactly the courier would be arriving.
  • There are no obligations. You do not need to meet a certain delivery volume or you would be penalized and need to pay extra. Whatever you pay is nett and is quoted before you even proceed to confirm the delivery.

Understanding different Singapore courier pricing styles

Here are some of the most common ways that Singapore courier companies price their courier and delivery services. You might want to briefly read through the following before going out and asking for quotes – or you may either be caught unaware or shocked.

Separation between bikes and vans – there are some companies which charge very different prices for delivery services between the same places. This is because they will allocate a van driver for the same collection and delivery destinations if the item to be delivered is either bulky or a parcel. Most courier companies in Singapore use bikes when it comes to document deliveries (though this is not guaranteed). Some companies will ask you what type of vehicle you want your item to be transported in and quote you different prices. Other companies will not ask you what vehicle you want, but they will ask you for the description of the item you want to be delivered – if it’s a parcel, then they will simply get a van and charge you a parcel price.

Outskirt charges – most courier companies would charge you surcharges when it comes to courier services which require either collection or delivery from / to outskirts within Singapore. Most common outskirts in Singapore are Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Batok, Pasir Ris, e.t.c. These are locations which are more than half an hour away from the center of Singapore island. It would take quite some time for couriers to deliver from one such point to another and hence outskirt charges are usually levied.

Distance fee – This is a pricing method where courier companies would charge you based on the overall distance which would need to be travelled assuming they were to pick up your item and provide courier services. Although this may feel more expensive / cheaper than the above pricing method (outskirt charges), the reality is that if you were to calculate it out, it is approximately the same amount of fees. So you need not worry too much. The only reason I’m sharing these pricing methods is because I’m trying to shed some light on the courier industry in Singapore for consumers in Singapore.

Efficiency of Singapore Deliveries

There are quite a few logistics companies in Singapore specializing in different fields – international mail and parcel deliveries, standard local mail and parcel deliveries, and courier mail and parcel deliveries. In general, the efficiency of the delivery services provided by the existing logistics players in Singapore is high. No matter it is international mail and parcel deliveries, standard local mail and parcel deliveries, or courier mail and parcel deliveries, we seldom hear any complaints about them being inefficient. Singaporeans like to complain on the smallest issues. If Singaporeans cannot stand a certain delivery company’s inefficient service, they will make sure to let the whole country know about it. Companies that survive in Singapore need to uphold high standard of service quality. Personally, I have only encountered one incident of a delayed delivery throughout my thirty years in Singapore.

Deliveries will surely need to be carried out promptly, adhering to the deadlines given to each of them. For instance, there are a few types of courier delivery services namely urgent delivery service within 2 hours, same day delivery service, and next day delivery service. The deadlines associated with the various services are within 2 hours, within the same day, and before close of next business day respectively. Prompt delivery is a basic requirement. Personally, I would tolerate just a 5% incidents of late deliveries. That’s my limit. Anything more than that will make me switch to another logistics company. Of course, companies should strive as much as possible to achieve 100% fast and timely delivery records. There is only 1 logistics company in Singapore that have done that for me so far – PCA Masters. If you are the type of person that seeks perfection in everything, then you should get fast deliveries with PCA Masters. Hopefully, they will never let you down.

I will think that the higher educational level and good infrastructure helped in ensuring fast and timely deliveries in Singapore. As people gets more educated and smarter, the couriers are tackling high volume of deliveries each day with ease. The straight and smooth roads definitely helps the couriers to travel to each locations easily as well.