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!!