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IN FOCUS: How the e-commerce boom could shape Singapore’s urban landscape

16 Aug 2021

As e-commerce grows, burgeoning deliveries could also clog up roads, said SMU Professor of Computer Science Lau Hoong Chuin. The use of motorbikes for deliveries has also “increased exponentially, undeniably”, said Prof Lau, whose work focuses on using artificial intelligence and data to improve logistics. Anecdotally, you also see far more delivery riders on the roads these days, he said, adding that taxis and private cars are also increasingly being used as couriers. Singapore’s urban logistics system – or the way these goods are moved – must also change, as the scene is currently “very fragmented”, said Prof Lau. To remedy this, Prof Lau has pushed for a national platform that coordinates deliveries to malls – a project called the Collaborative Urban Delivery Optimisation platform, which he worked on together with authorities. But it hasn’t quite taken off, as “the push to coordinate the delivery is not there” at a national level, he said. “To roll it out operationally requires a lot of support. Companies will need to cooperate, and the Government will need to come in with some incentives to get them to subscribe to the system.”

Channel NewsAsia

Last updated on 18 Aug 2021 .