The courier industry in Singapore had been slow adapting to changes in the macro environment and implementing policies to improve the value in the industry. One way to improve the value of the courier services is to make the business processes more efficient and make it as easy as possible for customers to order courier services. Customers value convenience a lot these days. The value of convenience is a subset of the value of the entire courier service.
From the early 1990s to the early 2010s, little changes have been made to improve the way people order courier services. People are only open to 2 options to order courier services – calls and simple website input. Most of the time, when customers input their courier service request via the phone, the courier companies will call them up to verify the information again. Ordering of courier services can hardly do without the use of phones.
Things are quite different in the past 5 years. The pace of productivity improvement has increased tremendously as the world shifts its focus and relies heavily on information technological advancements. With the invention of smart phones and the boom of internet era, people are spending a large amount of time on their mobile phone and surfing the internet daily.
Smart businesses know how to take advantage of this. A good and updated Singapore courier services company would offer a third option of ordering and confirming the courier services straight via their online ordering system. No phone calls will need to be made to the customers so the customers can save time answering the calls and repeating the information again.
Many players in the courier industry also developed mobile applications to provide the customers an alternate way of ordering courier services. This kind of mobile application is very similar to the Uber mobile application concept where the system uses a peer to peer model. It is very easy to order courier services via such mobile applications.
The next step to revolutionize the way people order courier services is still underway and I’m excited in this fast-paced environment now.
In my previous post, I talked about courier services from the perspective of the business owner / employer. Specifically, I touched on the points about why people would consider starting a courier business in Singapore. In this post, I am going to the other side of the story, considering courier services from the perspective of the consumers. Why would consumers seek courier services in Singapore?
Singapore is a very small city. It would take about an hour of drive just to get from one end to another in Singapore. This shows that it will be quite easy for anyone to travel and send a package themselves in Singapore. Why would anyone still order courier services? Below are some common reasons why people choose to do it.
1. They hate the traveling
Some people just hate to travel. The hot and humid weather in Singapore does not help either. Hence, they would rather stay under shelter such as staying in the office and get another person to send an item on his behalf. If the consumer does not have a car and the only other option besides getting a courier is to take the public transport to deliver the items, he will have a higher preference to engage courier services.
2. They are too busy to deliver the items themselves
Some people are just too busy. I mean – most working professionals are. Most working professionals are too busy to even leave their office for anything; they are covered under piles of work in the office. If they have any thing that needs to be done that requires them to leave their office (such as needing to deliver an item), they will simply outsource it instead. Courier services are very convenient for the working professionals. The customers do not need to leave their office at all. The couriers will fulfill the delivery door-to-door.
3. They are smart in managing their time
Smart people knows how much their time is worth. If he can generate more money in the time needed to deliver the item than the cost of the courier service, he will simply just engage the courier service. Overall, he will achieve a net gain.
Starting a business requires huge amount of dedication and commitment. Extensive planning needs to be done before one embarks on the business venture. If you don’t plan properly from the start, you will have much higher chance of failing. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Let’s look at starting a courier business in Singapore.
Is it wise to start a courier business in Singapore?
Firstly, let’s look at the competition. There are many courier companies in Singapore presently in 2016. Some of them are rather big like PCA Masters http://www.pcamasters.com/ and Speedpost, while we have many small courier businesses in Singapore. Competition is definitely stiff due to the abundance of courier companies in Singapore. Basically, it is a cut throat industry where businesses compete mainly on price. It is hard to differentiate one from another.
Secondly, let’s look at profit margins. Due to the intense competition, profit margin is very small for the businesses. In this aspect, it is not really attractive for new entrants.
Thirdly, the cost of entrant is rather high. In order to start a courier business, you have to purchase several vehicles upfront – vans, bikes, lorries, and any other vehicles you deem necessary to aid your staffs travel around the country to complete the courier deliveries. Speaking of staffs, you will have to get some staffs from the beginning too, unless you want to deliver the items yourself. Vehicle cost and staff salaries are big fixed expenses that your business need to support from the beginning.
Looking at these three points alone are enough to say that the courier business in Singapore is a very competitive and difficult industry. If you have the capital to burn and have a few years of your time to spare, then you can consider getting into the courier industry in Singapore. Otherwise, perhaps there are better industries and business opportunities for you out there somewhere else.