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New delivery options brighten SE Asia's e-commerce outlook

Startups tap 'smart' lockers, fellow consumers for package distribution

PopBox utilizes mom and pop stores as agents.

TOKYO/SINGAPORE -- Package delivery has long been a bottleneck for e-commerce in Southeast Asia, but things are changing -- thanks to startups offering various new ways to get orders into the hands of shoppers.

Neighbors' homes and "smart" lockers set up in stores are being used as alternative pickup locations, for instance, while ordinary consumers are helping deliver parcels in their neighborhoods -- to compensate for the region's generally underdeveloped logistics infrastructure, as well as the chronic shortage of delivery workers.

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