IMDA fines SingPost S$100,000 for failing to deliver mail on time in 2017

Its lapses are significant and this is not SingPost's first offence.

Joshua Lee | February 07, 2019, 09:53 PM

The Infocomm Media and Development Authority (IMDA) has imposed a hefty fine on SingPost for failing to meet the Quality of Service standards on delivery of local basic letters and registered mail in 2017.

This was announced by IMDA via a media release dated Feb. 7, 2019.

Under IMDA’s Postal Quality of Service framework, SingPost is required to achieve the following standards:

  • Deliver 99 per cent of local basic letters to an address within the Central Business District (CBD) by the next working day
  • Deliver 98 per cent of local basic letters to destinations outside the CBD areas by the next working day
  • Deliver 100 per cent of local basic letters and registered mail by the second working day.

SingPost's lapses

According to IMDA, SingPost failed to deliver 99 per cent of local basic letters to a CBD address within the following working day in May 2017.

Additionally, SingPost failed to:

  • deliver 100 per cent of local basic letters by the second working day for five months in January, April, May, October and November 2017.
  • deliver 100 per cent of registered mail for three months in January, September and November 2017.

The late deliveries were successfully re-delivered within a week.

Not SingPost's first offence

In assessing the penalty, IMDA considered the fact that this was not SingPost's first offence.

The Authority also revealed that the 2017 margin of failure was "significant" compared to previous instances of non-compliance.

IMDA’s Deputy Chief Executive and Director-General (Telecoms & Post) Aileen Chia said that the recent lapses indicate "gaps in SingPost’s processes" and that IMDA is currently assessing SingPost's Quality of Service for the year 2018.

The results will be published in mid-2019.

SingPost: Postman workload increased

In response, SingPost said that it accepts the financial penalty and announced a slew of measures to improve service quality.

In its statement, SingPost added that the work of a postman has increased over the years:

"Changes in the postal landscape are driven by the rapid rise of eCommerce that has injected large volumes into the traditional mail infrastructure because of cheaper postage.

This has raised the postman’s workload with a significant rise in package deliveries being made to doorsteps, over and above the delivery of mail to letter boxes. During the seasonal eCommerce surge in the last few months, each postman on average carried out between 50 and 60 doorstep deliveries per day."

New measures to cope with demand

In order to meet this evolved demand, the national post service is re-assessing the job of a postman and upskilling its postal workers.

Other measures include:

  • Increasing the postal delivery workforce by hiring an additional 100 postmen and redeploying 35 mail-drop drivers to become full-time postmen.
  • Enhance postmen’s remuneration with incentives for successful deliveries of trackable items to the doorstep.
  • Reduce missed deliveries by extending mail delivery slots to weekday evenings and on Saturdays. Postmen who volunteer for these after- hours slots will receive overtime pay.
  • Improve parcel collection experience by increasing the number of dedicated counters and staff at post offices for parcel collection.
  • Reduce non-core mail businesses such as advertisement mail to improve service levels on core mail delivery.

Separately, IMDA is also investigating the national postal service after a postman was found to have discarded mail, which is an offence under the Postal Services Act.

Top image via SingPost.