The number of packages handled by parcel delivery services in fiscal 2018 increased 1.3 percent from the previous year to 4.31 billion, hitting a record high for the fourth consecutive year, according to transport ministry data released Tuesday.

Of the total, the number of items shipped by truck stood at 4.26 billion, and those sent by other distribution methods came to 46.4 million in the fiscal year that ended in March 2019.

Three leading parcel delivery firms — Yamato Transport Co., Sagawa Express Co. and Japan Post Co. — accounted for about 93.7 percent of the total shipments by truck.

Yamato Transport ranked first, with a 42.3 percent share, down 1.3 percentage points from the previous year. Sagawa Express’ share fell 0.7 point to 29.3 percent, while that of Japan Post stood at 22.1 percent, up 1.3 points.

The number of shipments of postal items using specific envelopes, which contain books, magazines and catalogs, came to 5.02 billion, down 4.8 percent. The two leading delivery companies — Japan Post and Yamato Transport — held a combined 96.8 percent share in that category.

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