Is it viable to post by Ordinary Airmail?

Among the 3 postal options available in Singapore, Ordinary Airmail, Registered Airmail and ePacket, Ordinary Airmail is usually the cheapest method. However, Ordinary Airmail does not offer any tracking, and there is no package liability in an unfortunate instance when the package is lost in transit.

Statistically, the possibility of lost postal mail in transit is less than 1% when posting to developed countries with a strong postal presence, such as the USA, Japan, Australia, Canada etc. To enjoy a peace of mind, and reduce the possibility of buyers chasing for a tracking number, the sender has to incur an additional postage of S$3.60 to have their package Registered. More often than not, frequent buyers usually do not track their shipments, and will not raise a complain unless their parcel go missing.

As an Ecommerce Merchant, this is a business decision, after evaluating the pros and cons. Assuming as a merchant, the questions one should ask

  • Does your product enjoy a comfortable profit margin?
  • Is your product replaceable with relatively low cost of production?
  • Do you enjoy a decent demand / volume for your product?

If the answer is a resounding YES to all the above questions, it may be a viable business consideration to post by oridinary airmail versus the rest of the options. Assumming your product cost is S$10, and you have a posting volume of 100 orders per week. Your cost of replacement will only be S$10 versus S$360 ($3.60 x 100) postage saving per week. The net saving will amount to S$350.00 per week. Over a long run, such savings can be significant.

Of course, if you are dealing with premium products, it is always good to have them posted with tracking. As for high value item, express options via reputable carrier such as DHL Express & FedEx is recommended.

All the best!

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