Future delivery modernisation

The final mile delivery in Japan can be hugely challenging, with service providers working extended hours and dealing with re-deliveries as a result of the consignee being away from home or unable to receive the delivery, even if the delivery is made within the agreed time window. Against the background of an overall tightening of the labour market and, in particular, a well publicised driver shortage, the EBC believes that a new approach is required to improve the sustainability and effectiveness of final mile deliveries. The situation has further worsened with the Corona virus.


The Government of Japan should:
  • Support and enable use of larger vehicles for inter-city movement to reduce the number of vehicles and drivers required. This would also be inline with the new limitations on working hours for truck drivers.
  • Allow and encourage the use of autonomous vehicles by delivery companies.
  • Increase the subsidy for non-proprietary “open” parcel lockers and simplify the application process for such subsidies. In particular switching from the pre-installation to a post-installation application process should accelerate the deployment of parcel lockers. It is not uncommon that all boxes are already used.
  • Educate the public about socially responsible delivery arrangements by highlighting the social and environmental costs of failed delivery attempts and encouraging the consignee to be home and able to receive the delivery within the requested time window or to choose alternative “delivery options”. Failed deliveries are still very common.