Start-up Park N Parcel’s delivery service for online shoppers is helping generate a passive income for stay-at-home Singapore residents.
Its system involves people signing up as a “parker”, being paid S$1 (US 70 cents) for each parcel delivered to their address for online shoppers to pick up.
As well as about 40 residential collection points, Park N Parcel also has 60 commercial premises where shoppers can pick up their purchases, such as retail stores, mini-marts and cafes.
Online shoppers pay a $2.50 fee for the service, and can choose from a list of locations and collection hours on Park N Parcel’s website.
Co-founder Erik Cheong, who quit his job as a stockbroker last year to start the company, says the idea came from his girlfriend, who had her online purchases delivered to her aunt’s home three blocks away.
“I would miss deliveries because of my busy work schedule, but my girlfriend didn’t have that problem, thanks to her aunt,” says Cheong. “So I thought there must be retirees, students and home business owners who can do parcel collection for a passive income.”
Launched in January, the service has had about 500 users and aims to triple its number of collection points to 300 by year end. “Our goal is to have two to three per block, so you can pick up parcels from as close as your next-door neighbour,” Cheong says.
Park N Parcel does a basic screening of residential parkers, and users also can leave reviews of parkers on the website.
The start-up is one of several players in the logistics industry that have turned to self-collection in the growing e-commerce marketplace.
Most use self-collection lockers, such as SingPost’s PopStations, which have grown to a network of 143 locations since 2013. Items from more than 10 partner merchants, including Taobao, Uniqlo and Zalora, can be delivered to a selected PopStation at no extra charge.
Missed SingPost deliveries can be collected from PopStations, where the collection rate is more than 99 per cent, says SingPost.
Logistics start-up Blu, which provides end-to-end services for retailers such as warehousing, order and inventory management, automated fulfilment and last-mile delivery, has launched BluPort parcel lockers, with 41 terminals offering same-day self-collection for online purchases from local retailers.
Logistics firm Ninja Van in 2015 launched Ninja Collect, a network of about 20 lockers and 100 commercial collection points for its deliveries. It aims to double these by the end of this year.