I love buying and selling stuff on Carousell as much as the next person (actually, probably a lot more), but the one thing that I hate is having to deal by mail or meetup.
It’s such a nightmare. I yearn for the day I no longer need to queue at SingPost to mail my sold items, wait in vain for a parcel that was supposed to arrive 2 months ago, or tell that irritating buyer for the 27th time that no, I will NOT be in the Punggol vicinity anytime soon.
I picture a day when decluttering is as simple as tapping a button, paying a few bucks, and BOOM! unwanted item ejected out of my life.
These days, it might actually be possible. Courier and delivery services trying to offer solutions to regular consumers have been popping up everywhere. Let’s find out what’s on the market right now, and which ones are the most value-for-money.
Courier services Singapore (2020) – which delivery service is cheapest?
In the absence of a universal pricing structure for the courier services I’m comparing, I used an imaginary scenario to generate consistent price quotes: Bishan Community Centre (pick up) to Bedok Mall (drop off).
I also did price estimates for parcels of 2 different sizes:
- Small parcel: a toy drone, 20x20x10cm, 2kg
- Bulky item: an IKEA standing desk, 110x70x50cm, 20kg
Since I don’t care about the time frame, I’ve selected the cheapest option offered by each courier service. This means there’s a huge variation from immediate (e.g. GrabExpress) to a week or more (e.g. SingPost). Tap on each one to jump straight to the section about them.
|Courier service||Small parcel delivery||Bulky item delivery|
|Park N Parcel||$3||–|
|Fast Fast Delivery||$18||$20|
Park N Parcel
And the winner for cheapest small parcel delivery is… surprise, surprise! Not SingPost, but Park N Parcel. This is not a door-to-door delivery service, but a platform that tries to provide an alternative to SingPost with the help of retail stores.
How it works: You get a delivery label which you then print and paste on your parcel. Drop off your parcel at one of the shops listed as Parker Points (located in shopping malls islandwide).
Within 3 working days from the day of drop-off, Park N Parcel will move it to the other Parker Point that the recipient designated as their preferred meeting place. Voila, no more squabbles about which MRT station to meet at.
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 8kg, max. size 100cm (length + width + height)
Delivery fee: $3, which you can recoup almost immediately with your (and the buyer/seller’s) savings on public transport fare.
SingPost / SingPost SmartPac
“Singapore is so efficient! I love how everything works so well!” says every newly-arrived expat in Singapore… until the first time they try to send something by SingPost.
I kid, I kid. SingPost is the classic standby, and they do still offer some of the cheapest rates for packages up to 2kg. If you exceed the weight limit, there’s also the SmartPac postage-paid envelopes which accommodate up to 3kg.
Lead time is usually 2 to 4 working days for both normal mail and SmartPac, but it can fluctuate depending on the volume of mail SingPost gets.
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 2kg (normal mail) / 3kg (SmartPac). Further size restrictions apply for SmartPac: 19x30x6.5cm.
Delivery fees: See SingPost rates here. Postage for a small (non-paper) parcel ranges from $1.80 (500g) to $3.50 (2kg).
SmartPac costs $4.70 (up to 3kg).
Qoo10’s in-house delivery service, Qxpress, used to courier goods mainly for businesses that set up shop on the e-commerce giant, but it’s now open to regular consumers too. It’s now the cheapest door-to-door delivery service on the market. Hurray!
How it works: Delivery operates from Mondays to Saturdays, and there are 2 types of courier services: standard delivery (cheaper) and quick delivery.
QX standard delivery:
- Parcels up to 30kg
- Width + length + height up to 160cm
- You can only select a pickup date from the next day onwards (no same-day orders)
- Delivery is done anytime from 10am to 7pm (no specific timeslot)
QX quick delivery:
- Parcels up to 30kg
- Width + length + height up to 200cm, but max. length for each side is 100cm
- You can get the item picked up and delivered on the same day if there are slots available
- You can choose a pickup timeslot
- Delivery is done in about 1 to 2 hours after pickup
Delivery fees: Qxpress standard delivery charges by weight, while quick delivery charges by size (W + L + H). Here’s a table of their rates.
|Parcel weight||Standard delivery||Quick delivery|
|5kg||$4.50||(up to 30kg) $5.99
$0.50 distance shopping charge for every subsequent 1km (after first 10km)
Notice that for some parcels (heavy but compact, such as electronics) it’s actually more worth it to opt for quick delivery.
Similar to Qxpress, door-to-door delivery service Yojee recently updated their services to allow deliveries up to 35kg in weight (previously 50kg).
How it works: There are several options, with next day delivery being the cheapest. Yojee picks up the item on day 1 and delivers it on day 2. Delivery timeslot is not guaranteed, but if the delivery fails, they offer one free re-delivery on day 3.
For same day delivery, Yojee will pick up & drop off the item during their working hours from 10am to 10pm. You can only choose from 2 delivery slots: 10am to 2pm / 2pm to 6pm.
3-hour delivery is just what it says on the tin: Delivery picked up and completed within 3 hours, with the cut off time for pickup being 6pm.
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 30kg, max. parcel dimensions 53x53x53cm.
Delivery fees: Yojee delivery rates below. For the more expensive options, delivery rates depend on the distance between the pickup and delivery points. For next day deliveries, the rates depend on the number of parcels to be delivered:
|Parcel size / weight||Next day delivery||Same day delivery||3-hour delivery|
|29x29x29cm / 5kg||$12||$10 to $28||$14 to $36|
|36x36x36cm / 10kg||$14||$12 to $32||$16 to $40|
|46x46x46cm / 20kg||$16||$16 to $36||$20 to $44|
|53x53x53cm / 30kg||$18||$20 to $42||$24 to $40|
Japanese logistics company TaQbin has been around for a realllly long time – I still remember their booths outside the big National Library book sales at the Singapore Expo. While they’re not as shiny or cheap as the newcomers, their reputation is solid.
How it works: TaQbin doesn’t do pickups unless you’re a corporate customer and/or have at least 3 packages to deliver. Instead, you’ll need to find a TaQbin dropoff box or office near you. But in return, you get a $1 discount.
There’s a paper form you need to fill out to indicate the date of your delivery. The default is next day delivery, but you can choose any date you want (including Sat) within 1 week. You can’t pick a specific timeslot, but they have free re-delivery for missed parcels.
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 25kg, max. parcel dimensions (width + length + height) 160cm.
Delivery fees: Fees are totally dependent on parcel size but not weight. Therefore, TaQbin is great if you’re delivering small but heavy items, such as books.
|Parcel size (W+L+H)||TaQbin delivery rates|
Courier service UParcel is not particularly cheap, but the selling point is that they have many, many delivery options available, including express (3-hour) and rush (1-hour) deliveries. Of course, these will cost significantly more than regular delivery.
Another perk is that they give discounts for multiple parcels from the same pickup point & destination, ranging from 20% discount (2 parcels) to 60% off (7 parcels).
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 25kg, max. parcel dimensions (width + length + height) 200cm.
Delivery fees: Fees vary with the parcel size and weight, as well as speed of delivery. Since there are so many options available, I selected the cheapest (next day delivery) and the common express (3-hour delivery) options to compare:
|Parcel size / weight||Next day delivery||3-hour delivery|
|60cm / 1kg||$8||$13|
|80cm / 5kg||$9||$15|
|100cm / 8kg||$11||$17|
|120cm / 10kg||$14||$19|
|140cm / 15kg||$17||$22|
|160cm / 20kg||$20||$25|
|200cm / 25kg||$24||$28|
Lalamove is primarily a moving services company with lorries and vans, but they actually also have a full suite of vehicles like motorcycles and cars for moving smaller items.
Prices are pretty high, but on the flip side, delivery is immediate. The recipient doesn’t need to hang around all day waiting for a delivery scheduled for “10am to 7pm”.
Parcel restrictions: Pretty much no parcel restrictions, because they have big vans and lorries for massive items. So go ahead, buy that second-hand piano on Carousell.
Delivery fees: Lalamove rates depend on the transport vehicle, which in turn depends on the size and weight on your parcel.
|Parcel size / weight||Vehicle||Delivery rates|
|40x25x25cm / 8kg||Motorcycle||$10 + $0.30/km|
|70x50x50cm / 20kg||Car||$15 + $0.40/km|
|160x120x100cm / 350kg||1.7m van||$30 + $0.50/km|
|230x120x120cm / 500kg||2.4m van||$38 + $0.50/km|
Rates are taxi-style: The base fare covers a certain distance, and beyond that it’s a distance-based fee. You can easily get a quote on the website; when I keyed in Bishan and Bedok, I got $14 for the motorcycle delivery (small parcel) and $36 for the 1.7m van (big parcel).
Although rates are high, there’s one advantage to using Lalamove for delivering bulky items. If you get a van, the driver will help you with moving and loading the goods for free.
You can also pay for additional stops ($3 for motorbike, $5 for car, $8 or $11 for van). So, it’s possible to save money by doing multiple deliveries in the same run.
A competitor of companies like Lalamove, Gogovan’s delivery services work pretty much the same way – book a vehicle, get your stuff delivered right away.
Rates depend on the distance travelled, and there are different rates depending on vehicle type. One drawback is that you can’t get an exact rate without signing up for an account.
In my Bishan-to-Bedok experiment, I was quoted “from $15” for delivering a small item (30x20x20cm, max. 10kg). Turns out that the quote is actually $16, but you need to sign up for an account and log in first for the accurate quote.
Meanwhile, delivery starts from $34 for a large/bulky item (i.e. anything over 30x20x20cm or over 30kg).
Parcel restrictions: None.
Delivery fee: Get a quotation from Gogovan.
Fast Fast Delivery
Like Lalamove, Fast Fast Delivery also offers instant delivery. However, you can’t pre-order the service: You can only book it when you need it, Grab-style. Not great if you need peace of mind, but if you have flexibility, it offers really low prices for bulky deliveries.
How it works: Book a delivery when you need it (the service is available 24/7). When you make a booking, the system matches you with available drivers and assigns the nearest one to you for immediate pickup and delivery. You can expect the delivery to be completed within 90 minutes.
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 50kg. No dimensions stipulated but just make sure you choose the correct vehicle type if you’re transporting a bulky item.
For my imaginary parcels, I got quoted $18 for the small parcel and $20 for the large one. The fare for the large parcel is the cheapest one I found among the providers.
Grab Express / Grab Delivery
You might have noticed a “Delivery” button when you open the Grab app these days. This leads you to Grab’s latest foray, GrabExpress, which is an on-demand instant delivery service along the likes of Lalamove and Fast Fast Delivery.
How it works: Same as how you would order a GrabCar – just key in your pickup location and destination to get a quote. When you tap “Book”, the job will be assigned to someone, who will pick up and deliver the item immediately. The service is available from 8am to 11pm daily for motorbike deliveries, and 10am to 4pm daily for car deliveries..
Parcel restrictions: Max. weight 20kg, max. parcel dimensions 70x50x50cm.
Delivery fee: The official fee is $6 base fare + $1 per additional km (first 5km) for motorbikes and $9 base fare + $1.20 per additional km (first 5km) for cars.
When I entered my route (Bishan to Bedok) it cost $18 (motorbike) / $21 (car). A shorter route, such as Holland Village to Orchard, costs $14 (motorbike) / $22 (car).
Similar to Lalamove, GetVan is primarily a moving service with a range of vans and lorries. But if you’re trying to transport a bulky item, they offer pretty competitive rates for one-off deliveries too.
How it works: First pick the van size you want. The smallest van accommodates 140x140x140cm and there’s no weight limit.
You can book on the same day (if available) or in advance. If you’re planning to do multiple stops or going long-distance, it might be better to book by the hour.
Parcel restrictions: None.
Delivery fee: For the smallest van, the fee is $25 base fare + $0.80/km. When I entered my Bishan to Bedok route, they quoted $34.20, which is the 2nd cheapest for bulky deliveries I found. For booking by the hour, it costs $40 for the first hour and $35/hour thereafter.
The fee includes 15 minutes each for loading and unloading. For larger vehicles like lorries, they give you a longer period for un/loading time.
Have you tried any of these delivery services personally? Share your experience with us in the comments!