Business

Japan Post to hike parcel delivery rates by 12% next March

Kyodo

Japan Post Co. said Tuesday it will raise basic shipping fees for its door-to-door parcel delivery service by an average 12 percent from next March as labor costs continue to climb due to a courier shortage.

The mail and package delivery unit of state-owned Japan Post Holdings Co. will hike fees by ¥110 to ¥230 for deliveries across the country excluding Okinawa and ¥40 to ¥290 for packages to and from the southern island prefecture from March 1. The company last raised its rates in August 2015.

Japan Post President Kunio Yokoyama said at a news conference the higher fees are needed to prevent overwork and underpayment. The rate hike is expected to lift the company’s revenue by ¥8 billion ($73 million) annually.

Japan Post is the last among the country’s three major delivery firms to decide on an increase in shipping fees after Yamato Holdings Co. and Sagawa Express Co.

Japan’s courier industry is facing severe labor shortages as the demand for delivery of products purchased online has soared.

Yamato Holdings will raise shipping fees by ¥140 to ¥180 depending on the size of the package from Oct. 1, while Sagawa Express will hike delivery rates by ¥60 to ¥230 from Nov. 21.