Manpower Shortage As A Major Problem In Japan’s Parcel Delivery Industry

Door-to-door parcel delivery firm Yamato Transport Co. has made a move to review its customer service and seek the first wide range rate hike in more than 25 years. While the company enjoys a dominant share of the market, it is also confronted with problems which remind businesses that competition based on improved convenience and lower prices for customers is not sustainable because it places a great burden on workers.

Behind Yamato’s move is the rapid increase in the amount of deliveries due to the popularity of online shopping and the growing problem of manpower shortage. Because of the lack of workers, delivery drivers have to work for excessively long hours so as to cope with their workloads. Yamato plans to limit designated-hour delivery service to make sure that the burden on workers is eased.

The increase in delivery rates will become effective by fall. It is expected that the total volume of parcels handled by workers will be greatly reduced. According to the transport ministry, the number of parcels that are delivered through door-to-door service reached 3.75 billion nationwide in 2015. This is roughly 50% increase since 2000 when online shopping was introduced to Japan.

There is stiff competition among online retailers in getting the attention of consumers and it has fuelled the volume of parcel deliveries. Online retailers offer more convenient and fast services including free shipping for volume purchases and premium customers.

Meanwhile potential workers avoid jobs offered by delivery services because of the long irregular hours and low wages. Work volume has increased for the delivery service industry but they cannot secure sufficient manpower. The ratio of job opportunities to job seekers in the professional driver’s sector is 2:68, nearly double the average in other industries. It is estimated that there will be a shortage of almost 100,000 drivers in the industry by 2020.

If you need to ship parcels internationally, you can easily acquire courier quote online. Domestic courier services in New Zealand offer international parcel courier service with heavily discounted shipment quotes, full online tracking and door-to-door parcel service. Full estimated transit time will be provided with the freight quote.