Why Singapore Shoppers May Never Miss a Delivery
Park N Parcel wants to capitalize on Southeast Asia’s e-commerce boom
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
The most avid online shoppers would know that waiting for parcels when you could be out and about on a weekend is a chore many would want to avoid. Missed parcels or having to arrange for re-delivery is another headache.
Enter Singapore-based Park N Parcel, which provides a last-mile logistics solution by giving customers a more convenient way to collect online purchases and ensuring that they do not miss their parcel deliveries. It allows online shoppers to collect parcels by “parking” them with neighbors or retail stores, such as cafes and convenience stores.
The company was founded in April 2016 by CEO Bryan See Toh, COO Erik Cheong, and CFO Tan Gan Hong out of their desire to start their own business and solve issues they experienced—having to cut short a date to receive a parcel, multiple calls from the deliveryman during meetings, lengthy re-delivery processes, and parcels left behind the gate.
These late twenty-and-thirty-something founders were previously equity dealers for Maybank Kim Eng Securities and have been working together for the past 5 years.
Parkers vs. Lockers
Cheong claims they are the first in Southeast Asia to launch an on-demand parcel collection service, which makes use of residential and commercial spaces. They are different from parcel lockers, such as Singpost POP-Station, Ninja Van Bumbox, and Blu Ports, he says.
Cheong adds there are a few advantages to using Parkers instead of lockers. First, the Parkers’ proximity to the customer is less than 1 km, while lockers have an average collection distance of 2.5 km. Next, Park N Parcel is trying to capture the fragmented Singapore logistics market by allowing other logistics players to tap into its platform to avoid re-delivery. Lastly, the company does not require high capital expenditure to scale because it leverages on existing infrastructure.
Online shoppers are charged $2.50 per parcel, and $1 of that amount will go to the Parkers in exchange for collecting the parcel on behalf of the shopper.
Park N Parcel is also a cost saving solution for logistics providers, as the average cost for re-delivery is around $5-$10 for additional manpower and transport. And it helps these companies improve their delivery efficiency with a higher fulfillment rate.
Cheong says their clients are typically professionals, managers, and executives—those who work long hours and tend to shop online for convenience. Millennials are also a target group. For Parkers, 70% belong to the residential group—housewives, retirees, and home-based entrepreneurs—and 30% are commercial businesses—cafes, minimarts, and retail stores in shopping malls.
In January, Park N Parcel began with only a few parcels, but over the past 5 months, the number has grown to a few hundreds per month—a 200% growth month-on-month in terms of volume, according to the founders. In addition, the number of Parkers has increased from 100 in the first month to 1,000 currently.
Singapore as test bed
According to Cheong, the company completed its pre-seed funding of $200,000 from two angel investors and is currently under the National University of Singapore Enterprise Incubation as one of its portfolio start-ups. The company is looking to raise its seed round this year for operational expansion and to improve its current technology.
“Singapore is our ‘test bed’ market to validate our product by building a strong brand and operation team here. We have a goal to achieve 2000 Parkers solely in Singapore by end of 2017,” Cheong says, adding that they are in discussions with major online retailers and logistics providers to boost traction.
The team is also looking for local partners in overseas markets, such as Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand.
“We hope to position Park N Parcel to be part and parcel of the e-commerce boom in Southeast Asia. One of our ultimate goals is for people to remember [the company] as an essential lifestyle service that one might not be able to live without when shopping online,” Cheong says.