Japan Courier, Express, and Parcel Logistics Market Intelligence

*This report was last updated in Q4 2018. Please click on request customization if you are looking for an updated version of this report

Report Coverage

  • Size of Courier, Express, and Parcel (CEP) market in Japan
  • Operating Cost Structure for CEP Services
  • Criteria in Choosing a Right CEP Supplier
  • Value-added Services vs. Customer Preference

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary
  1. Market Overview
  1. Operating Model and Cost Structure
  1. Supplier Analysis
  1. Customer Preferences and Behavior Analysis

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Regional Market Outlook on Courier, Express, and Parcel Logistics

The CEP market is expected to grow by ~5 percent in 2017 Y-o-Y to reach $23.5 billion, majorly driven by purchases from e-commerce sector.

Market Analysis

  • The Japanese CEP market experienced a growth rate of ~5.1 percent in 2016 Y-o-Y to reach ~$22.4 billion, majorly driven by the e-commerce industry
  • The domestic courier market experienced a growth rate of 5 percent Y-o-Y to attain ~$19.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $20.8 billion in 2017, with an annual growth rate of 5 percent driven by e-commerce
  • With increasing cross-border opportunities from the US, China, and other Asian countries, the international parcel market is expected to grow at ~4 percent through 2016 and 2017 annually

Supplier Market Structure

  • The domestic courier market is consolidated, with approximately 92 percent of the domestic CEP market dominated by the top three Japanese courier companies. Japan's strong licensing policies have been preventing entry of foreign companies into the domestic market
  • Japan's licensing policies have been affecting foreign companies. For instance, freight forwarding licenses can be obtained by Japanese companies only, thereby foreign companies have to depend on Japanese forwarders to ship international parcels
  • The Japanese domestic CEP market is highly consolidated, with 92 percent of the market dominated by the top three regional players, namely Yamato Transport, Sagawa Express, and Japan Post. It is mainly due to restriction of foreign companies to enter the market
  • The international market is dominated by the global integrator, who has a wide area for network, and national players integrate with global players for international deliveries, due to increase in cross-border relation within Asian countries
  • International players, such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx ship parcels overseas, Yamato transport has partnered with UPS and leverages its global network to ship increasing cross-border parcel volume
  • Sagawa Express leverages its own subsidiaries Sagawa Global Transport to ship parcel to other Asian countries

Porter's Five Forces Analysis

Supplier Power 

Companies do not face challenges, in terms of retaining drivers and sorting personnel, most companies deliver shipments with their own network keeping supplier power low

Barriers to New Entrants

Japan holds tight licensing policies for foreign couriers to enter the domestic market and they depend on Japanese forwarders to ship international parcels, thus keeping the barriers to new entrants high in the domestic segment

Intensity of Rivalry

Competition is weak among the regional CEP service providers, where the top three players hold the same market position for the past 10 years, keeping intensity of rivalry low

Buyer Power

The domestic market is highly consolidated and dominated by the top players, who have market share of 92 percent, and they all offer services at similar prices, keeping the buyer bargaining power low

Threat of Substitutes

Internet penetration into the BFSI sector and public sector is already slowing the demand to ship documents. However, general business needs in the B2C segment would continue to drive the parcel market

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