Yamato Transport Ends Mail Service Due to Postal Law Violations

According to press reports, Japanese logistics provider Yamato Transport Co. Ltd, has announced that from March 31, 2015, it will no longer offer its popular Kuroneko Mail service. In a statement, the company said that the decision was made because the number of Postal Law violation investigations by the police of Yamato and its customers had exceeded company-set limits on such violations.

Yamato's popular "Black Cat" van is used for the Kuroneko Mail service
Yamato's popular "Black Cat" van is used for the Kuroneko Mail service

Unlike other postal services in the world, Yamato's main rival for domestic postal services is government-owned Japan Post, whose monopoly on postal services is not determined by the size of the mail items, but its contents.

Yamato has opposed this monopoly structure and last year submitted a proposal to the government to introduce a size-based regulation system and abolish the one that relies on the contents being censored by the government to enforce its law. However, responding to Yamato's proposal, the Ministry of General Affairs decided against a size-based regulation system.

Complicated postal laws
Following a survey among its customers about "proprietary mail", Yamato found that only 23% of the respondents knew what proprietary mail was. Subsequently, Yamato concluded that the current system could result in situations where law-abiding citizens using Kuroneko Mail instead of the postal service offered by Japan Post, could be investigated by the police for illegal activities due to their lack of understanding of Japan's complicated postal laws.
To avoid further inconveniences for its customers, Yamato has now decided to launch a new service for its business customers named "Kuroneko DM Bin" which will be introduced from 1 April 2015, with details to be announced at a later date.

Playing hardball
Yamato's Kuroneko Mail service was launched in 1997 and has since grown from 247 million items to 20.1 billion in 2013. The logistics company also has a print and mail service which allows clients to securely submit designs for direct mail campaigns and the related mailing lists and have them printed, addressed and delivered by Yamato.
Japan Post's alternative to Kuroneko Mail, especially for e-commerce firms, has been the introduction of the Post Packet service and Letter Pack 360 and 520 services, which offer delivery confirmation but do not require signatures by the recipients.

Nol van Fenema

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