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World-first standard to improve last mile delivery efficiency

Singapore’s newly launched TR46:2016 aims to standardise dataset formats and streamline delivery processes between e-commerce retailers and logistics service providers, paving the way for more efficient deliveries.

Last mile delivery is the final leg of the e-commerce supply chain. It is the moment customers receive their goods – and generally the most expensive, challenging and least efficient part of the supply chain.

Most of these challenges have to do with the high expectations of online customers. These include same-day or on-demand delivery, thus increasing total delivery costs for retailers; real-time visibility over deliveries, including the ability to track a driver using a real-time map; and a smooth delivery experience from the moment an order is placed to how it should be delivered.

For e-commerce retailers and logistics players, a new Singapore standard – TR46:2016 Last Mile Delivery: e-commerce Data Interchange – is set to alleviate some of these challenges.

Jointly launched by the Singapore Manufacturing Federation-Standards Development Organisation (SMF-SDO), Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (now Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore) and SPRING Singapore (now Enterprise Singapore1) on 12 April, the world-first standard provides fixed dataset formats to standardise workflow processes between e-commerce retailers and third-party logistics service providers; reduce time and costs needed to integrate last mile delivery processes into an e-commerce supply chain; minimise delivery errors; and ensure a seamless transactional experience for customers.

“The development of TR46:2016 is timely, with the increasing need to improve last mile deliveries. TR46:2016 will ultimately improve consumers’ online shopping experiences through increased logistics efficiency, and spur the growth of e-commerce in Singapore,” said Mr Tay Jih-Hsin, SMF-SDO Manufacturing Standards Committee Chairman.

Towards a more efficiente-commerce supply chain

Recently, nine companies took part in a pilot exercise for TR46:2016 – and the results were encouraging.

Adopting the standard has helped the companies eliminate the need to invest in and use multiple platforms in their last mile delivery processes, reducing integration costs. Currently, most e-commerce businesses switch between different dataset formats – or e-business forms and processes – when working with different logistics service providers, resulting in longer integration times and higher costs.

The standard has also helped reduce delivery time and delivery errors, providing a seamless exchange of data between e-commerce retailers, third-party logistics service providers and customers. In addition, order processing, inventory and deliveries can be managed under a single system, ensuring efficient tracking of orders and inventory flow transparency.

These results led e-commerce platform Tackthis! and Zyllem, a Singapore-based provider of same-day delivery service, to adopt TR46:2016.

As early adopters of the standard, Tackthis! and Zyllem have a competitive edge in the e-commerce market; both companies have since established a powerhouse partnership and together expanded their businesses to Malaysia and the Philippines.

As TR46:2016 offers fixed dataset formats, processes and practices for essential functions, such as transaction generation, between online retailers and logistics providers, Tackthis! has been able to save up to 50% in terms of integration time and costs.

The company has since expanded its pool of courier partners and thirdparty logistics service providers, which include Zyllem. All of these, in turn, have helped take away the day-to-day hassles of store management and order fulfilment, allowing Tackthis! sellers to fulfil customer deliveries seamlessly and boost in-store productivity.

According to Zyllem, e-commerce retailers that adopt TR46:2016 will benefit from faster integration of logistics platforms into their businesses and time savings of up to 50%.

“As we expand and grow, we aim to better serve fast-growing businesses, such as e-commerce, by applying TR46:2016 into our logistics networks across the region,” says Mr Noam Berda, Zyllem’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder.

A strategic tool for e-commerce businesses

For many e-commerce retailers, delivery is their only face-to-face contact with a customer and thus, it’s importance cannot be overstated. Failure to make a good impression could mean the difference between a repeat and one-off purchase.

That’s why this particular moment-of-truth contact needs to be timely, precise and successful. “It is importantfor retailers and their logistics partners to get this part right as it is the bridge to a customer and where the customer makes the final judgment about a retailer’s service quality,” said Mrs Kee Ai Nah, SPRING’s (now Enterprise Singapore's1) Group Director for Industry and Enterprise Development.

In other words, all the more reason for e-commerce retailers to adopt TR46:2016 as a strategic tool to boost business and customer satisfaction.


1SPRING Singapore merged with IE Singapore to form Enterprise Singapore on 1 April 2018.

Last Modified Date: 06 May 2018