Understanding The Courier Industry

Many people know about large courier companies like Fedex and DHL, and many people in Singapore also know about local courier companies like PCA Masters (http://www.pcamasters.com/courier-delivery-singapore/), Roadmasters and Regent. However, few people know what actually happens behind the scenes of these logistics and courier firms.

Let us seek to understand more about this actually complex industry otherwise known as the logistics and courier industry.

The international freight and logistics industry is much more complex to be described in terms of words, so the above video should help to explain a large part of how companies like Fedex and UPS works.

For the purpose of this blog and article, I shall be talking about courier deliveries within Singapore.

First and foremost, the moment you order something from a courier company like PCA Masters or Roadmaster, you’re definitely talking to either a sales representative from their company or an administrative staff (corporate side).

Now, after confirming the order(s) with you, they would immediately find out which courier is the closest to the pick up point in Singapore which you have specified. This is especially true for the case if it is an urgent delivery. They need the courier to reach the pick up point on time and promptly. Additionally, the courier company would need to make sure that the particular courier they are calling / contacting is able to deliver it on time too. This is because each courier would definitely have more than one delivery per day, and so they would need to deliver a lot of other goods and documents. Hence, not all of them who are near the pick up point are able to perform that said delivery.

After getting the courier, what essentially happens is that the person would pick up the document or parcel from the sender and keep it in his or her vehicle (either a motorcycle, van or car). Now, the courier will need to plan out his or her trip around Singapore to reach the designated delivery point. He or she would need to figure out which is the shortest and most efficient route to keep to his or her delivery timings. Top courier companies like PCA Masters are very strict with the standards of their deliverymen, and so if they are not on time, they would be fired easily. Hence, the personnel would also feel a sense of stress and pressure to perform for you.

After reaching the designated point of delivery, the assigned courier would then complete the order and would also let the recipient sign a consignment note (which would also be signed earlier on by the sender) as proof of receipt. This will then be communicated back to the courier services company who will then inform you (their client).

It may feel very convenient from the customer’s point of view, but in reality, it can be more complicated than it looks. However, in short, I would say that working with a smaller or local courier company is better because their processes are much simpler to follow for the normal consumer. You would not need to lug yourself through endless paper work just to get something delivered in Singapore. It will save you lots of time and efforts.

Night And Weekend Delivery Surcharges

If you have never gotten any kind of goods or documents delivered within Singapore before, what you will realize is that all couriers charge surcharges for night and weekend deliveries if you have ad hoc deliveries. Perhaps only for people (consumers or businesses) who have high volume of deliveries (e.g. E-commerce companies), courier companies might offer waivers on such extra charges.

However, for the vast majority of customers, courier services in Singapore would have a small fee for such deliveries. So please do not be alarmed if you were charged that. It is simply because most couriers do not work on week nights as well as weekends, and so the courier company would have to pay them more to keep them motivated to help deliver goods on such timings (e.g. night and weekends).

How about public holidays? Are there companies which deliver goods or documents on public holidays in Singapore? I believe there is, but only an extremely small minority of couriers would be willing to do it. Hence, be prepared to pay a special premium on that day. However, in general, it is still cheaper to pay a courier for his or her services than it is to take a cab to-and-fro. This is reason why courier services are still higher popular in Singapore – because cabs and cars are not exactly cheap, while public transport can be really crowded and slow.

All in all, even with the weekend and night surcharges for deliveries in Singapore, I can say that it is still much more efficient and affordable to get a courier service to help you out. No point cabbing around or lugging along your package or document on public transport. Just get a reliable courier service and all your troubles would be solved! You would not even need to step out of your house’s doorstep. How much more efficient and convenient can it be? :))

How To Choose A Courier Service In Singapore?

Deciding on singapore local courier services might not be as simple and straightforward as you might realize.

You don’t simply pay a fixed fee for delivery to every part of Singapore and for all timings. You might only be able to pay a fixed fee for all deliveries if you are an E-commerce company which can negotiate with the local courier company because you might have a guaranteed high volume of deliveries.

However, if you’re just sending things on an ad-hoc basis in Singapore, then it is important to understand the ways that businesses in Singapore price their courier services.

The following are some of the most common elements that these Singapore local courier companies will actually use to set their pricing:

  • Weight of the document or parcel to be delivered
  • Physical dimensions of the parcel(s) in L x H x W (usually they will add up these 3 dimensions and set prices based on their ranges)
  • Pick up and delivery timings (e.g. if they are considered urgent or not, if they are specific timings or not, if they are night deliveries or not)
  • Pick up point
  • Delivery point

The above factors would virtually affect the pricing of all courier companies in Singapore.

First of all, the heavier the weight of the document or parcel, the more expensive it would be.

Second of all, the larger the parcel, the more expensive it would be. This is because courier services cannot send their dispatch riders to send your goods, and they need to get their van or car drivers to do it.

Third of all, if you have very specific pick up and delivery timings, the courier would need to arrange his or her other deliveries around your timing, hence making it less convenient for them to perform your deliveries – thus they would usually charge a higher fee for such deliveries.

Fourth of all, pick up point and delivery points may affect the pricing, and generally does because if your delivery is made between two very far places in Singapore (e.g. from one end to another), it would definitely not be cheap. Even if you took a cab to and fro, it would cost you at least $40-50 – so be reasonable and don’t scrimp and complain when a courier services company charge you that amount.

Alright, the above should encompass most of the major factors that you might want to consider before engaging a courier company by helping you better understand the pricing model of courier services locally within Singapore.

Fast Deliveries In Singapore?

If you are a business that sells things such as fresh produce through an E-commerce business storefront, then it’s important that you get only the fastest deliveries in Singapore so that your products would be able to reach your customers’ hands on time while they are still fresh. Speed is of the utmost importance when it comes to businesses which require such fast deliveries to their consumers.

How should you negotiate with the courier company if you want such fast deliveries though? It is well known that fast deliveries would require a higher price than normal rate deliveries. This is otherwise known as the urgent class of courier service as most courier companies in Singapore term them as.

First of all, there are several key things that courier companies look at when pricing their services. They are namely, pick up location, recipient’s locations, requirement for time slot deliveries (if any), weight and physical dimensions of the documents or package.

Therefore, if you know that you would require a lot of things based on the timing, then you might want to negotiate with the Singapore courier company based on the other factors.

For example, if your pick up location is from central Singapore, then your charges for pick up would generally be minimal.

Next, it is likely that your recipient locations (if you run an urgent delivery E-commerce business) would be all around the island of Singapore, hence, it would be unlikely that you can use this as a leverage point during your negotiations.

However, if you have a relatively high volume of deliveries, then you would be able to use volume as a leverage point to negotiate for more discounts. Generally speaking, the greater the volume of deliveries you require, the greater the discount per delivery.

The above are some of the main points that you might want to use as a form of leverage when negotiating with the courier services firm.

Document And Parcel Deliveries

Getting document and parcel deliveries in Singapore is actually a really easy task to do and there is nothing much for you as a consumer to do and here are the many awesome reasons why.

  • There are many companies in Singapore which are willing to help you do both document and/or parcel deliveries within the island of Singapore. Most of them are local courier companies in Singapore and are trustworthy. Of course, you should ideally search for any relevant reviews online about their courier deliveries before you go and approach them.
  • Due to the many incentives by the government to build businesses based on and leveraged by technology, top courier companies in Singapore use technology ranging from mobile applications to modern notification methods to keep their clients satisfied and allow them to keep track of deliveries.
  • Most couriers who deliver documents are motorcyclists while those that actually deliver parcels are car drivers or van drivers. This is because motorcyclists would only be able to deliver a few items each time if they were to pick up parcels. (This is not a particular benefit but just something I would like to share with you).
  • Most courier companies in Singapore would charge different prices based on the weight of documents and parcels. Additionally, documents and parcels generally have a different price list simply because they are usually carried by different types of couriers (motorcyclists/bikers vs car/van drivers). However, if you send items in bulk, you can actually deliver goods very differently compared to people who only deliver a few items because of economies of scale as long as you’re able to guarantee a minimum amount of deliveries each month of either documents or parcels (although this is usually the case for Singapore E-commerce businesses)
  • Because most courier companies in Singapore have a website, you could simply Google for courier services and you would be able to find many corporate websites, and all you have to do is then pick one from there which seems reliable, offers reasonable pricing and is responsive to customer enquiries (eg your enquiries etc).

Outlook of logistics industry

With the rapid technology advancements in this decade, many market players in Singapore are working towards constant technology innovation in their companies. Everyone is afraid that their technology and business processes become obsolete and replaced by a competitor with superior technology. Technology, in these days, is able to disrupt a whole industry. Take for example, Uber, a private taxi hailing app. With its superior technology, it is able to disrupt the taxi industry around the world. Things has gone so far that some governments stepped in to banned Uber in order to protect their own domestic taxi industry.

So, how will technology be able to affect the logistics industry and what is the outlook of it in the coming 30 years?

Firstly, we have to understand that all couriers and deliverymen depend heavily on their mode of transportation such as their cars and bikes currently to help them carry out their delivery. In the event technology is able to make their existing vehicles faster or create another vehicle that can enable the couriers to fulfill their deliveries faster, market players in the logistics industry have to switch to the new technology in order to make sure their delivery duration do not lag behind the others. Is it possible in the coming 30 years? Well, it may be highly possible that people will be able to create a faster car or bike so courier companies have to adjust to this new speed and demands of customers. There may even have flying cars soon. If you are slow, you will be eliminated.

Secondly, is there possibility of the couriers and deliverymen being replaced by technology’s works such as robots? Well, this may be possible too. Some huge companies in the world such as Amazon and Ebay are experimenting with drones and mobile robot vehicles to carry out the deliveries. If the projects are successful, there will be a huge loss of jobs as they will be replaced by these drones and robots which may be able to fulfill the deliveries faster, more accurately, and at a cheaper price.

Thirdly, will there be constant demand for it? Of course, logistics industry will stay forever. Most businesses will choose to outsource their logistics operations to a logistics company. It is not wise to carry out all operations in-house unless your company is really very big and is able to achieve scale of economy in all operations.

Make sure to get a respected and reputable courier firm in Singapore like PCA Masters to help you carry out your logistics needs and requirements. You can find PCA Masters at their address #06-76 Midview City, 22 Sin Ming Dr, Singapore 573969 or do what most people do and call their phone at 6681 5781. Hope that helps you out.

Expectations of a good courier company

I have been in the logistics industry for 17 years. I know exactly what customers expect of logistics companies and how to run a logistics company well. There are some basic rules and expectations a good logistics company need to fulfill in order to survive and prosper in this logistics industry.

1. Always be on time. In every other industries and occasions, being on time display your professionalism and positive and sincere attitude to meeting the other party. One will not be too happy if his/her counterparty is constantly late for meetings or appointments. Punctuality is especially important in the logistics industry where time is really of the essence. The businesses outsourcing their logistics needs to the courier company may urgently need their documents or parcels delivered to their recipients on the double quick time. It is part of the deal that the delivery has to be carried out within a certain time-frame.

2. Be accountable. If a business is capable of outsourcing its logistics operations to a courier company, the volume must be huge. There may be tens and hundreds of deliveries to fulfill everyday. The courier company will need to manage all these fast-paced deliveries well and report to their clients promptly. It is natural for clients to request for delivery reports or updates on their daily operations. Hence, the courier company will need to keep track of all operations and be accountable for all deliveries. Currently, photo evidence depicting the delivery note containing the signature of the recipients is a basic tool courier companies are using to report to their clients.

3. Be able to take in sudden huge volume. A good courier company must have the ability to take in sudden unexpected volume of jobs. Clients’ businesses may fluctuate quite significantly from day to day or month to month, and requires all parts of their operations to support the varied demand, include their outsourced logistics. If the logistics company is not big enough to have some slack and cater to unexpected demands, the clients will lose business for naught.

The above three points are essential expectations of a good courier company. In Singapore, a courier company calls PCA Masters and RoadMasters meets all the above three points. Personally, I prefer PCA Masters. If you have any logistics work that you want to outsource, you can send PCA Masters enquiry.

Outsourcing Your Delivery Operations In Singapore

Most business operations do not specialize in deliveries or logistics, and actually sell services or products other than courier services. Hence, it is highly recommended for such companies to outsource the delivery operations because it is not the company’s competitive advantage. Business rule number 1 is to outsource things that is not the company’s strength. If it’s the company’s strength, then the company should do it in-house.

Here are some tips on outsourcing your deliveries operations to a courier company in Singapore by one of the top courier companies in Singapore – http://www.pcamasters.com.

First and foremost, always find out what kind of volume of deliveries are you expecting. This is because there are companies which focus on ad hoc and low volume deliveries at reasonable prices, while there are companies which could be focusing on large volume deliveries at reasonable costs while providing efficient operations.

Other than costs, another main thing about finding out the expected volume of deliveries you require before talking to any courier company in Singapore is because some companies are smaller and hence have lower capacity to engage in high volume deliveries for your business if required. However, if you are an individual consumer which only need deliveries of a few items occasionally, then it does not really matter.

Next, find out the list of places which your company needs to deliver goods to (especially if you require business re-stocking and/or weekly deliveries). Some businesses require courier to pick up documents every week or day and deliver from one branch to another. If you need this, it is unlikely that you would be offered high volume deliveries (as that is usually at least 100 and above for most companies to charge low prices).  Also, finding and preparing the list of common places and addresses and appropriate timings you need the deliveries you need to be done on a constant basis will help you out greatly after the courier company replies your enquiry because they’re definitely going to be asking you about the locations.

Always take note of into and out of CBD charges. These will usually be charged to you. Hence, make sure to clarify if there will be such charges if you are not sure where the ERP gantries in Singapore are if not you might be having a rude shock.