Japan's leading logistics and express delivery firm Yamato Holdings has announced it will raise basic rates for its door-to-door parcel delivery services as early as September.
The increase, which is the first in 27 years and comes as Yamato is facing serious staff shortages and a continuing boom in on-line shopping in Japan, will be used to improve working conditions,
the company said.
In addition, the fee hikes will be used for capital expenditures, including information technology-related investment to reduce redelivery burdens and spending to promote the use of delivery lockers.
A Japan Times report said the company’s problems reflect Japan’s demographic woes, including a chronic manpower shortage caused by a birth rate that has been low for decades, and by a rapidly graying population.
Delivery price to be raised by 6 percent in average
In another attempt to ease the burden on its overworked employees, Yamato said it will review steep discounts for large-lot corporate clients, such as Amazon, which has also been asked to reduce the assignment of same-day deliveries. Amazon has complied with the request and has started to subcontract part of its same-day deliveries to Japan Post.
Yamato Transport Co., the holding company's principal operating unit, will hike its basic shipping fee for door-to-door parcel deliveries by yen140 (US$1.25) to yen180 (US$1.60), depending on package size.
Yamato Transport said the fare hike will raise the average delivery price by 6 percent in fiscal 2017, which started this month, from 559 yen per parcel last year.
The company handled a record 1.87 billion packages over the past year through March. It expects to reduce that volume by 80 million items in the current business year.
Nol van Fenema