Log Hub to keep online commerce moving

The Straits Times by DESMOND WEE

At its regional logistics hub for e-commerce in Tampines, SingPost handles an array of services spanning warehousing, logistics and last-mile delivery for several big-name e-commerce players well-known in Singapore, like Lazada.

The sprawling 553,000 sq ft, three-storey facility boasts two warehouse floors, 150 simultaneous loading bays and an office block. The ground floor includes a fully automated parcel sorting facility, which can sort up to 100,000 parcels a day, while level two is a cornucopia of goodies from household brands, fashion labels and various e-commerce companies. Items range from cosmetics and sportswear to baby products and home electrical appliances.

By combining warehousing, sorting and delivery capabilities in one building, and fully integrating the e-commerce stream from start to finish, SingPost is able to fulfil orders much more efficiently than before.

Once the orders come in, the parcels are processed and packaged before they are sent out to the rest of South-east Asia, Australia, India, North Asia as well as the United States and Europe.

Postal mail is still a core of SingPost's business, and an average of three million mail items are processed each day at SingPost's facility in Paya Lebar. However, its two-year-old, $182 million logistics hub in Tampines is one example of how the company has been able to capitalise on the e-commerce wave, and showcases its continual investment in technology for new postal and logistics solutions.

Some of the new technology employed at the Log Hub facility includes a cross-belt sorter. Measuring 500m in length, it automatically guides parcels to the 291 parcel sorting chutes specific to the customer's destination (the delivery driver loads the package directly from the chute onto a van), and a pick to tote system, which enables items to be automatically retrieved from storage and transported on a conveyor belt to a picking station, where a customer's order is compiled and packaged.?

Everything in the Log Hub is scalable, which means it can be upgraded to meet the needs of the future.

With 60 per cent of SingPost's revenue coming from e-commerce, the company also has plans to expand its network of POPStation parcel lockers, which may double up as unmanned post offices in the future.

• Text by Mark Cheong

See what goes on behind the scenes in the Log Hub.