Is Singapore’s Courier Industry Ripe For Disruption?

A lot of people (especially in 2015) have asked if particular industries in Singapore are ready to be disrupted. However, that term seems to get thrown around a lot more by uneducated people in business in Singapore. Before we answer the question whether Singapore’s courier industry is ripe for disruption, we have to:

  • Know what disruption means
  • Figure out whether disruption is even necessary
  • Figure out how it should happen if needed, and if it should be simply in the form of technology

Know what disruption means

Let us go into the first point. Business disruption simply means a big and fundamental change in the way businesses operate in a particular industry. For instance, in the past where you either had to drive your own car, take the public transport or hire a personal full time chauffeur, you could now easily take a combination of everything – order a ‘taxi’ and enjoy being chauffeured in a private car using Uber or Grab in Singapore. This was a fundamental shift because it solved many inherent problems in Singapore’s transportation industry. Singapore has ridiculous car prices (which is made more ridiculous when you realize that over half of the car’s price goes to the government and not even the car manufacturer or dealer). Singapore also has an extremely congested public transport – yeah, it may be relatively fast compared to third world countries but have you tried squeezing in one EVERY single day? It’s disgusting. Also, hiring a personal full time chauffeur is also extremely expensive as this means you need your own car and pay a full time employee. Uber and Grab have essentially transformed the entire transportation industry in Singapore because they broke down the barriers and allowed nearly everybody to enjoy the benefits of each mode of transportation, with none of the disadvantages. Once again, disruption means a big and fundamental change to the way businesses operate in a particular industry.

Figure out whether disruption is even necessary

Now, we need to figure out whether disruption is even necessary. Not every industry needs a disruption. Let us now take a closer look at Singapore’s courier and logistics industry. A disruption can only happen if there are problems in that industry. Here are some of the most common problems that customers who use local Singapore courier services face:

  • Unaccountable – they are late or fail to deliver on time, and shirk responsibility consistently (this happens a lot with small subcontractor courier firms – avoid them at all costs).
  • Go bankrupt after a few months. (This is a common problem when newcomers enter, and don’t know what they are doing, and simply slash prices to get customers. They quickly realize they cannot even breakeven, or barely profit, and simply close down after being a failure.) This causes customers to keep changing providers.
  • Terrible service – if you have tried courier companies before, you will realize that there is no human element in it – even though you may be talking with a human customer service support personnel. It is ridiculous how few courier companies focus on actually serving customers.

Now, the above are problems which can be major enough to be solved. As a result, I believe that the industry is ripe for disruption.

Figure out how it should happen if needed, and if it should be simply in the form of technology

Let us now move on to the third point – how should disruption happen if necessary? If you noticed, the two biggest problems are lack of good service and consistency. Essentially, the best and simplest way for the courier firm industry in Singapore to be disrupted is actually by service. I firmly believe that disruption should never be in the form of technology. Although it feels as though disruption in many industries is by technology, the truth is, it’s just companies finally deciding once and for all to focus on the end user (customer) and focus on solving problems for them. People pay money for service, not because it’s fancy, but because it solves a problem. As you can see above, no one cares whether they need to use a phone, paper and pen or a desktop to order courier service and be serviced properly. They only care about the simplest and easiest way to get it done properly. Moving forward, courier firms in Singapore which focus on the end customers and seek to help them complete their deliveries in the simplest way possible (properly) will end up being a major player in the logistics industry. If you need a good recommendation on a courier firm which I believe in Singapore is going to change the industry through affordable pricing with top tier, unbelievable services, it’s going to be

What do you think? Let me know by commenting below!!

Which Are The Best Courier Companies In Singapore? (Reviews and Pricing)

Before I go on, you need to understand that every courier company is slightly different from each other. Some specialize only in local same day courier deliveries, while other specialize in more economical options such as next day deliveries (pick up today, deliver the next day). Treat my following advice as qualified advice, but please make sure that the courier company’s offerings suit your company’s requirements before picking them.

In no particular order (because each courier firm is slightly different):

1. PCA Masters (motorbike and car couriers) – they are a great option for companies looking to have their important and confidential parcels and documents to be delivered within Singapore in the same day or even a few hours (e.g. 1 or 2 hours). Their pricing is very competitive at around $10 or $15 for most same day deliveries and their urgent surcharge is only a mere $10 extra, which is dirt cheap compared to companies like OCS Courier which charge up to $30 or $40 extra for urgent deliveries which is ridiculously expensive. Check out their website here:

Verdict on service: 4.9 stars out of 5 stars
Verdict on pricing: 4.8 stars out of 5 stars

2. CSLC (van couriers) – they are a great option for companies which need to restock goods regularly from their office to the retail stores. This is because CSLC specializes in van deliveries in Singapore, hence their services are much better for those looking to deliver bulkier parcels and packages. Do note that if you’re delivering small documents or parcels, it’s more economical and also more sensible to choose other options such as PCA Masters. However, for van deliveries, CSLC is a great choice in Singapore. If you know your van delivery at least one day in advance, make sure to order earlier with CSLC. They give 50% discount if you order one day or more earlier.

Verdict on service: 4.6 stars out of 5 stars
Verdict on pricing: 4.9 stars out of 5 stars

How much does courier services cost in Singapore?

For most people, Singpost is all they ever use for deliveries in Singapore. However, for those business executives or entrepreneurs, there will be instances where postal services or registered mail simply doesn’t make the cut at all. This is where delivery and courier companies come in.

First of all, there are various types of courier services in Singapore. The biggest difference between courier services and postal services in Singapore is that the courier firm will dispatch a driver or rider to pick up the items directly from you. Additionally, the items are usually delivered on the same working day. However, there’s also another type of delivery service in Singapore, used mainly by E-commerce companies. Such delivery companies aggregate orders for 1 or 2 days, and then redistribute out the goods from their warehouse over the next 3-5 working days. Both types of services are ideal for different types of needs.

Generally, the first type of courier service is meant for corporate customers which need urgent document and/or parcel deliveries to their customers or suppliers or even to the banks. This type of courier firms in Singapore specialize in same day or urgent local courier services. Naturally, due to the urgent and ad hoc nature of such courier services, they usually cost the most at around $10 to $25 per delivery. Your delivery is guaranteed to be completed within 1 to 2 hours maximum (usually between $20 to $30) or before 6pm the same day (usually between $10 to $20).

Next, E-commerce delivery companies aggregate orders and redistribute out over the next several working days. Because of this non time sensitive deliveries, they are similar to postal services – except that they will pick up the products you sell from you and charge you rates cheaper than if you had delivered with Speedpost. This clearly shows you that Speedpost and Singpost is going out of business soon (declining due to its irrelevancy in keeping up with business environment in Singapore). The only thing they’re good for is postal services. Nothing else is as good as other courier and delivery companies in Singapore. Anyway, E-commerce delivery companies usually charge around $5 to $10 per delivery as a result of their ‘postal’ like services – e.g. not same day and usually not next working day also.

Review of Singapore courier firms

Here’s a short and quick review of some local courier services options you have in Singapore if you’re looking for delivery companies for your company.

  • If you’re looking for bike deliveries for documents or small parcels on the same day or on urgent courier basis, then PCA Masters ( is a good option. Specializing in same day local courier service in Singapore, their main focus is speed, accountability and efficiency. They’re a great option for companies looking for document and small parcel deliveries in Singapore.
  • If you’re looking for a company to deliver goods for your E-commerce company locally in Singapore, then Ninjavan is a popular option. You get to distribute your products over the next several days of the order (it’s not same day delivery, hence the costs can be lowered). If you’re looking for a last mile delivery company, they’re a pretty decent option.
  • If you’re looking for a van delivery option, then CSLC is a good option. They specialize in van deliveries in Singapore (their normal is next day, they have a 50% surcharge for same day deliveries). However, if you book your delivery in advance of at least one working day, then it will be considered a normal delivery only (so make sure to book in advance if you’re going to use them).

Singapore’s Logistics Industry

As you might know, Singapore is known as the financial hub of South East Asia. However, it is even more well known as a logistics hub and shipping hub. Because of Singapore being both a financial and logistics hub, the need for high volumes of deliveries in Singapore is tremendous.

However, not many companies in Singapore are actually capable of living up to serving this extremely demanding requirements of companies in Singapore. Couriers are seen running all around Singapore on a daily basis from Mondays to Fridays, especially in the Central Business District, helping companies getting important cheques, documents, parcels delivered on time. Not every courier company is however capable of managing profit margins, hiring employees/contractors and scaling up to meet customer requirements. This is why many courier companies have failed, and only those truly great ones survive.

This is a truly amazing industry to look at, because the attrition rate of small business owners in this industry is so high. Many companies undercharge in a bid to gain new courier business, only to find out that they severely undercharged and could not make a single cent in profit after many months or even a few years, and eventually pull out of the market. This high attrition rate is applicable for both small time entrepreneurs as well as large corporations seeking to enter Singapore’s logistic industry. Unless you have experience and tons of business skills, it’s not an industry which is sexy to enter.

Till date, the remaining courier services companies surviving and thriving in the industry are namely those who are still dominating the service industry. Examples of these companies are which have continually re-invested any profits into bettering their customer service support as well as their logistics software systems. Only those who are utterly focused on being the #1 stay there in this brutally competitive industry.

How To Choose A Courier Service In Singapore

Choosing a courier service is different from simply getting somebody to deliver your goods for you. Chances are, if you’re needing courier service, then you’re delivering items very important to your company, and are mostly looking at same day courier deliveries in Singapore. You’re not looking at non-urgent (2-3 working days deliveries). With that in mind, let us move on. If you’re not sure whether you need courier services or need other logistics services in Singapore instead, then you may want to check out this link.

1. Always find out your company’s requirements first. What items would your company be looking to deliver? Is it small packages, big items or documents? Most courier services in Singapore deal with smaller packages, and big and bulky items such as TVs e.t.c. are usually handled by moving companies instead.

2. Do you need same day delivery service in Singapore or do you not need same day delivery services. Generally speaking documents, folders, contracts and cheques are delivered on the same day for Singapore companies. For E-commerce companies which want to send out their products to their customers, they usually use next day or next 3 day delivery services which is more cost efficient, but slow. It all really depends on your company’s needs.

3. Would it be better for your company to find a courier service in Singapore or would it be better for your company to hire a full time dispatch rider in Singapore? Here’s a quick answer: If your costs with a courier company is less than 2.5 thousand per month, then outsourcing and finding a courier company in Singapore will be more cost efficient for you. This is because to hire a full time, in house dispatch rider in Singapore, you would need to pay approximately $1800 for their salary, and when you include their petrol costs, insurance and CPF payments, it would be around $2200 to $2500. Therefore, if your expenses for courier service is less than that, then simply keep using the courier firm, as they will be able to provide you the same service with less headache (no employee or leave management or CPF payments).

As you can see from the above tips, picking a courier company in Singapore is about understanding your own needs more than simply looking at a courier company.

State of Singapore’s Courier Delivery Services

There are many delivery companies in Singapore, ranging in different sizes and many of them serve slightly different markets. Logistics is a highly contested industry in Singapore, and only the very best manage to survive and then thrive in it! Let us take a quick look into Singapore’s delivery services industry.

First and foremost, it would be the most commonly known form of delivery services – postal services. In Singapore, the only provider of postal services is SingPost, which is a state owned company. It deals with everything postal services, and if you are looking to send an item or document over the next few days, then SingPost is a good choice. After all, you have no other choice if you want postal services.

Second of all, it would be the upgraded and accountable version of postal services – courier services. Courier service companies in Singapore usually deal with either same day or next day deliveries. For the purpose of this article, let’s just discuss about same day or urgent (within a few hours) delivery of documents. This service is used highly by corporations as they have many documents which needs to be sent from one location to another on a daily basis. Companies also need to collect and send cheques e.t.c. and may also deliver gifts to clients. These companies usually engage local courier companies in Singapore like PCAMasters, e.t.c.

Third of all, it would be delivery service of larger items in Singapore. These are delivery services for items such as TVs, small machinery e.t.c. These are usually moving companies such as Shalom Movers e.t.c.

Finally, it would be about cargo shipping. Although this has more to do with international shipping, it’s still considered delivery services, hence I just decided to quickly mention about this. There are few companies in Singapore which does this, if any. Most of the international delivery companies are companies with their own planes such as DHL and Fedex. In fact, DHL, Fedex and UPS are the largest international freight companies in Singapore. They only deal with international deliveries and outsource their local deliveries in Singapore.