Seeking Technologies to Enable Accurate Delivery of Postal Mail to Letterboxes

Background

For over 160 years, Singapore Post (SingPost) as the country's postal service provider, has been delivering trusted and reliable services to homes and businesses in Singapore. Today, SingPost is pioneering and leading in eCommerce logistics as well as providing innovative mail and logistics solutions in Singapore and around the world, with operations in 19 markets. Building on its trusted communications through domestic and international postal services, SingPost is taking the lead in end-to-end integrated and digital mail solutions.

Almost 80% of postal addresses in Singapore are served by letterbox nests. The accuracy of the final delivery leg is dependent on the individual postman or postwoman. The fulfillment for ordinary (basic) mail is not traceable because there is no scanning activity.  A key performance indicator set by the regulatory authority requires 98% of successful postal deliveries to be done within a day of the item being posted (D+1).

To meet the myriad challenges and ensure that the D+1 requirement is met, SingPost launched a SMART Letterbox project in September 2019, that seeks to upgrade the letterbox infrastructure. The solution envisaged will eliminate the sortation activity within the letterbox nest, and generate a timestamp when delivery is completed. There are at least 12,000 buildings and hundreds of private residential blocks in Singapore.

It will take years to complete the implementation of the SMART Letterboxes nationwide, and deployment constraints have already been identified.

We are seeking a solution that can implemented within the next 1 year to complement the SMART Letterbox project, by retrofitting existing letterbox infrastructure and/or introducing wearable technology. Examples of locations where this solution can be implemented include those with space constraints and/or constraints that relate to deployment, utilisation and lack of commercial viability. The proposed solution should eliminate human error in letter delivery, to ensure that the correct letter is deposited in the correct letterbox.

 

Requirements

The Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) sets a KPI on delivery quality for the postal carrier, to achieve masterdoor letterbox delivery accuracy of 99.8%. The Postal Inspector from each delivery base will regularly conduct sampling quality checks on the ground.

We are seeking a solution that will enable the postal carrier to carry out the delivery of postal items at the required accuracy rate of 99.8%, and reduce mistakes due to human error.

The possible solution may be in the form of:

  • Hardware or devices to be retroffited onto existing letterboxes
  • Hardware or devices worn on the postman eg. smart wearables

Note: We are not considering solutions involving large machinery or hardware that need to be installed on the letterbox site.

The proposed solution should be:

  • Hands-free, and will not significantly affect the postal carrier’s productivity
  • User friendly, and easy to learn to use
  • If hardware is involved, it has to be weather-proof & rugged
  • Possess the ability to manage & monitor the system remotely

Other constraints to note:

  • 2G network is not available in Singapore.
  • There are letterbox nests located in basements and carparks where mobile network signals may be weak.
  • Solutions have to meet fire safety regulations, regulatory standards as well as the Internal Security Act (Chapter 143).

The postage for one ordinary mail article is the price at SGD$0.30. The cost of implementation should not exceed SGD$0.003 per article.

The proposed solution should be able to be integrated with existing SingPost platforms via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), including SingPost’s mobile app.

Minimum Required Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Level 7

 

Desired Outcome

SingPost hopes to create a new delivery experience for our customers. Through harnessing ready technology, we would like to provide more value upon fulfilling the delivery to the letterboxes. For example, to provide notifications to both the sender and recipient through the SingPost mobile app that we are working on.

SingPost would also like to improve the work quality for the operators. The solution should enable us to meet regulatory requirements, as well as increase the success rate for delivery fulfillment.

 

Development Timeframe

The proof of concept is expected within 6 months.

Follow with a trial within the next 1 year.

 

 

Further Details

Further details of the challenge statement may be found at the Briefings Page, in the form of video recordings of the virtual briefing sessions, Q&A transcripts and presentation slides if available.

 

 

Instructions on Submitting Proposals

Download the proposal submission form in Microsoft Word format at the 'Attachment' section of the Challenge Statement Listing Page and fill in the details of your project proposal. You can then proceed to the proposal submission page by logging in and clicking the 'Submit Proposal' button on the right side of this page, where you will have to fill in the form fields and attach the filled Microsoft Word project submission form before submitting. Do also upload supporting documents/files that may support your proposal.

 

Challenge

TCC Enterprise

Organisation

Singapore Post Limited

Themes

Internet of Things
Robotics and Automation
Process Enhancements

Proposal submissions are open from 22 Jul 2020 to 29 Sep 2020