SingPost continues postal evolution with hi-tech mailbox trial

Singapore Post
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As part of its Future of Post vision, Singapore Post’s next-generation smart letterbox, PostPal, is set to be trialled from 18 December.

Residents of select areas will be included in the trial which sees a significant upgrade from the traditional letterboxes in terms of functionality, as well as aesthetics. The ‘smart’ mailboxes offer a number of features.

Customisable: Storage modules within PostPal can be easily adjusted to the mail profile of individual residential blocks. For example, smaller modules can be replaced with larger ones that can hold larger postal packages if the block sees consistently high e-commerce volumes, or during the year-end online sale peak season.

Keyless, convenient and safe: Residents will be able to retrieve their mail by scanning a unique QR code dynamically generated by the SingPost app on their smart phones at their PostPal box. This QR code verification process eliminates the need to manually unlock and lock letterboxes using a key that can be lost or duplicated. Residents can also use the app to authorise trusted individuals to collect mail on their behalf.

Mail receipt notifications: Residents using the SingPost app will no longer need to periodically ‘blind-check’ their letterboxes, as they will receive mobile notifications whenever mail addressed to their residence is deposited within their PostPal. The app will also be able to check the exact number of mail items pending collection at any point in time.

Auto-sorting: Each PostPal is equipped with an auto-sorting machine capable of accurately arranging and storing mail for individual residences. This greatly minimises mis-deliveries due to human error while significantly relieving the postman’s daily burden.

The proprietary automation solution is co-developed by SingPost and PBA Group (PBA Robotics), a regional Robotics and Automation leader headquartered in Singapore. Pisces Technologies, a homegrown SME specialising in systems automation, and a subsidiary of PBA Robotics, had been working closely with SingPost to rigorously develop and build the latest public trial prototype of PostPal.

SingPost aims to progressively expand the PostPal public trial to more precincts over the year-long trial period, subject to the performance of the units in the trial area, as well as regulatory approval. Data and feedback gathered during the trial period will be used to fine-tune the PostPal system and inform SingPost on the next phases of development for its Future of Post vision.

First showcased in September 2019, SingPost’s Future of Post vision represents a significant milestone in Singapore’s postal history and is envisaged to transform the Nation’s postal system in the next five years.

Last year SingPost was fined SGD 400,000 by the regulator – the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) – for service lapses in 2017 and 2018. Some of these lapses included lost letters involving two postal workers who dumped mail in trash bins.

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