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Did you realise it’s been a year since Singapore entered its Circuit Breaker?
A year on, many of us are still embracing the measures introduced then, such as working from home with meetings now held through video conferencing, or turning to e-commerce for our shopping needs (the many empty boxes and random packing materials in my home are testament to that).
While we have gotten used to this “new normal”, it is still annoying to send important or urgent documents and packages via a courier, only to discover that the recipient isn’t at home to receive it (they may have stepped out to run errands, grab lunch or are working from a cafe for a change of scene).
And even if leaving things on their doorstep or in the riser is now common practice, there’s always that feeling of insecurity about leaving a valuable parcel unattended… Did we mention that courier services are usually costly as well? Not to mention, if your recipient is not at home, there are more fees for re-deliveries.
If you send important letters and small packages often, whether they are for your growing business, work or personal matters, here are 5 cost-effective and smart ways to send these items:
1. Letterbox delivery
Is it just me, or whenever I just step out for a short while, my delivery has to arrive within those 5 minutes?
That’s why I really appreciate it when my small packages get shipped directly to my letterbox. As a standard issue for every home address, everyone has a letterbox. It’s not going to run away or shift its location anytime soon.
It’s a reliable way of making sure your important letters and small packages are delivered safely and kept under lock and key; away from prying eyes and safeguarding against the rare chance that there may be someone lying in wait to swipe your package from your doorstep or riser.
And here’s the best part — I don’t need to arrange for redelivery whenever I’m not home (and possibly incur additional charges, plus waste precious time) or stick around at home to receive the letter or package in person.
Bonus points for contactless delivery!
SingPost also has the largest network of delivery points in Singapore — because every household has a letterbox. And it’s also the only service that can legally deliver to your mailbox.
2. Track it
Did you know you can track local letters? This comes in handy if there is a need to send out physical documents to a coworker.
Psst… Tracking a love letter might be a good idea too, especially if you don’t want a total stranger reading your innermost thoughts.
SingPost’s Tracked Mail service allows you to send letters and printed papers weighing up to 500g, while its Tracked Package service allows for up to a 2kg package. The sender can track these on SingPost’s website, and the recipient will be updated via SMS when the package is on the way, and again after successful delivery to their letterbox.
There’s also SingPost’s SmartPac, which is a postage-paid (flat fee, yay!) packaging that is delivered to your recipient’s letterbox. SmartPac is available in 3 sizes, and for people who just love convenience, there’s no need to hunt for stamps to stick on the package. The recipient won’t receive an SMS notification, but you can easily track your SmartPac on the website.
3. Be smart with time
Ever wonder why your package is simply taking so long to reach your recipient, even though it’s not during a peak period? You’ve got tracking turned on, but it seems like the item is stuck forever at the same logistics facility too. Ugh.
It can get really annoying when you don’t have a clear handle on when the package you’re sending will reach its recipient. It is difficult to tell the recipient when to expect the delivery and they’ll get irritated needing to wait until it arrives. This can be frustrating for small business owners and their customers.
When you use SingPost’s Tracked Mail or Tracked Package delivery, the letter or parcel can reach the recipient’s mailbox within 2 working days, giving you that peace of mind when it will be delivered.
In addition, there are other services available to help senders maximise their time, such as the e-business tools on SingPost’s ezy2ship portal. Ezy2ship allows senders to send multiple items of varying types, dimensions and weights to one address, choose their preferred packaging and service, and even calculate the shipping cost before you send them.
There are other features on the ezy2ship portal, such as a bulk upload feature if you have multiple packages to send, online booking of services and printing of labels from home. I can even check where the nearest post office is so that I can drop off my parcels to be shipped out.
This can be really helpful for those who run online retail businesses (or even Carousell sellers) and need to send multiple packages often.
4. Choose an affordable service
SingPost’s tracked services are actually super affordable. It can be more cost-effective than delivering something via Grab/private courier or personally making the trip down to meet the person (yes, even if you take public transport or drive). Plus it saves time!
In case you’re wondering, here’s a breakdown of SingPost’s weight limits, dimensions, charges and delivery time:
2 working days
Weight Limit: 500g
324mm x 229mm x 65mm
2 working days
Weight Limit: 2kg
324mm x 229mm x 65mm
It will cost me just $3 to send a 2kg package (within the specified dimensions, of course) to someone in Singapore, and it will be sent directly to the recipient’s letterbox within 2 working days. Tracking and notifications included. That’s sweet!
Another affordable direct-to-letterbox tracked package delivery service is SmartPac (postage-paid packaging, but no SMS notifications):
|Type||Dimensions||Weight limit||Standard Unit Price||Delivery|
|SmartPac Box||300mm x 190mm x 65mm||Up to 2kg||$3.80||
2 working days
|SmartPac Lite||Approx. C4 size||$3.20|
|SmartPac Mini||Approx. C5 size|
5. Be MoneySmart when it comes to weight/size
With these affordable prices, we may be tempted to just dump everything into a box/mailer and send it out — but we ain’t MoneySmart if we don’t share some tips to maximise the cost of sending out your letter/small package.
Tip 1: Note the weight tiers of the service chosen. Sometimes going up a weight step can mean a higher cost (imagine if you’re paying 10c more for thousands of packages, that’s quite a lot of money!). For example, Tracked Mail has different rates for different weight steps.
Tip 2: Keep weighing and adjusting. Sometimes, you may just be over by a tiny bit of the 2kg weight limit and this might mean you will need to find another (possibly more expensive) method to deliver your parcel. Remove the unnecessary things or see if you can downsize to a smaller (and lighter) box/mailer.
Tip 3: Hone your packing skills. At first glance, you may think you need a bigger box/mailer, but with top packing skills (remember how you used to cram all of your clothes and souvenirs from your overseas trip into a tiny luggage and make sure it doesn’t exceed the weight limited?) you could save money on the box/mailer.
SingPost in a nutshell: Direct-to-letterbox, trackable, affordable, secure and cost-effective
The next time I’m sending a package, I’m going to send it via SingPost letterbox delivery.
With the automated SMS, I won’t need to manually notify the recipient that their package has been delivered. And with the package going straight to their letterbox, I won’t face a situation where the recipient bugs me non-stop about the whereabouts of the package so that they can sit at home to wait for it.
The tracking tool helps for both letters/documents and packages too, so that I can effectively deal with the aforementioned kancheong recipient.
Delivery is quick, and shipping fees are wallet-friendly too, so those are pluses in my book as well.
If you ask me, with Covid-19 still ongoing, it’s best to do things in the most contactless way as possible.
Find out more about SingPost’s Tracked Mail and Tracked Package delivery services, and create your first shipment on the ezy2ship portal. You can also purchase hassle-free postage paid packaging (SmartPac) online.