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Japan Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)

Japan Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)

  • January 2021
  • 264 pages
  • ID: 5986881
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The Japan Third-Party Logistics (3PL) market is expected to register a growth rate of over 5.8% during the forecast period of 2020-2025. Over time, Japan has made great developments in the supply chain space embracing digital technologies to transform a traditional. In recent years, the socioeconomic circumstances surrounding logistics changed dramatically, including declining/ageing population, innovations in areas, and increasingly frequent deliveries of smaller goods and diversification of customer needs. In Japan, demand for 3PL is increasing as the large companies are reviewing the operation of the logistics network, increasing outsourcing to 3PL providers, aiming to reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

Key Market Trends
Shortage of truck drivers leading to delay in cargo transportation

The labour skill shortage is a common issue faced by the logistics companies worldwide, especially Japan as one of the most affected countries due to its ageing population. The situation is leading to a delay in the pick-up of import and export cargos from key ports, including Tokyo and Kobe. The truck driver shortage in Japan, often ends up in yard space shortage and long cargo lodge times, especially in the Tokyo and Osaka where the majority of import cargos are shipped.

With these restraints in play, Japan is a country where autonomous transportation services have tremendous growth scope and a very bright future. Demand for self-driving trucks is particularly high in regions like Hokkaido with few alternatives to hauling freight by road.

UD Trucks Corp. has been testing its autonomous heavy-duty trucks on a 1.5-km-long designated route in and around a sugar factory in Shari, eastern Hokkaido with trucks travelling at a speed of 20 kmph, successfully navigating their way using a global positioning system and sensors. The truck’s Level 4 capabilities allow it to perform all driving tasks without human intervention within a limited area, even in emergencies.

Toyota Industries Corporation and All Nippon Airways announced their collaboration for the testing of Japan’s first autonomous towing tractors at the Saga Airport. The company declared its plans to install advanced self-driving features in commercial vehicles before adding them to cars built for personal use and is currently working on the development of the automated driving, robotics and AI technology for the Japanese market.

Development in cold chain logistics

Japan is the second-fastest-growing mature pharmaceutical market in the world, following the United States. The international interest in the Japanese pharmaceutical market will create opportunities for the cold chain logistics services providers. The companies in the country are heavily improvising and updating their services by undergoing deals, partnerships and agreements with competitors and companies that provide platform service to the 3PL companies.

The cold chain market is also known for the amount of energy required in the process and the huge amount of emissions that occur. The companies are setting up logistics centres and transforming the vehicles that are environment friendly, produce minimum emissions and run on sustainable sources of energy.

In 2019, DHL Global Forwarding, international forwarders for perishable seafood from Japan, announced the expansion of its cold chain logistics network in Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, to hit into growing global demand for premium seafood and Japan’s efforts to boost seafood exports.

In August 2019, Marken – pharmaceutical supply chain organization, announced the acquisition of Japan-based PCX International Co. Ltd. This acquisition will strengthen Marken’s existing supply chain footprint of the delivery of over 3,000 clinical trial shipments per month in Japan adding the capacity for domestic and international clinical shipments.

Competitive Landscape
The market is relatively concentrated with Yusen Logistics, Expeditors, DHL, Hitachi Transport System, and Kuehne Nagel as its major players along with the inhouse logistic segments of the retail and manufacturing companies leading the market.

The value-added services in Japan are rapidly growing spotting the unprecedented growth of the e-commerce market in the country. The packaging labelling and sorting activities, as a result, have seen a large spike in the Japanese logistics industry.

In order to handle the current high demand and labour shortage in the country, steps like joint or shared delivery – to distribute goods from multiple companies to common delivery points, platform apps – to locate the drivers with vacant truck space and shippers to improve the operation rate of delivery companies, deployment of small warehouses in urban areas as intermediary distribution centres and collection logistics can be brought into practice.

The changes in the logistics industry in terms of autonomous machines and vehicles is also aiming at erasing the carbon footprint of the sector from the economy.

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