Anger Over Proposed Point System for Parcel Redelivery in Japan | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Anger Over Proposed Point System for Parcel Redelivery in Japan

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“Not there!” A former truck driver expresses his anger

If a customer chooses to have his or her parcel delivered to a designated location, he or she will receive points for the service.

The Emergency Package for Logistics Innovation was compiled by the government at a meeting of relevant ministers on October 6 to discuss measures to address the problems facing the logistics industry due to overtime regulations for truck drivers and other factors. Included in the package as an urgent measure to halve the redelivery rate for home delivery is a point rebate for users of leftover delivery and convenience store pickups.

Immediately after the news was reported by various media outlets, social networking sites were filled with dismay and questions.

  • Why am I paying for someone else’s package?
  • How much taxpayers’ money do you spend on this point-of-sale business?
  • Who wants to earn points by making deliveries that may or may not happen more than a few times a month?
  • I’m sure the paperwork will explode due to theft and undelivered packages.
Is it just a matter of time before they change their nickname to “Point Distribution Tax Hike Shit Glasses”? (PHOTO: AFLO)

“It is a matter of course to keep to the delivery time schedule that you have specified. If they fail to do so and cause redeliveries, I can understand if they are penalized. But why do they go in the direction of giving points for the obvious act of not sending out re-deliveries? It is hard to understand.”


Writer Aiki Hashimoto, an expert on the transportation industry, also expressed her outrage. Ms. Hashimoto used to run her family’s factory, and has experience as a truck driver herself.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, 5.0588 billion pieces of parcels were handled in FY2022. The redelivery rate was 11.4% according to a survey conducted in April of this year. The government’s goal is to halve this rate to 6% by FY2024.

“The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is surveying the three major delivery companies, Yamato Transport, Sagawa Express, and Japan Post. Amazon, which accounts for a high share of the Japanese e-commerce market, is mainly delivered by Maruwa Unyu and a sole proprietorship called Amazon Flex, but Amazon’s delivery is not included in the re-delivery rate compiled by MLIT.

Although Amazon’s default is to use leftover delivery, as long as the goal is to reduce the re-delivery rate, it does not seem to be a fundamental solution to the problem, if measures are taken without including the status of these in-house delivery services.”

Although the government recommends the use of leftover delivery, all of the major delivery companies are taking action.

Yamato Transport only allows the use of delivery service for packages purchased from certain online stores. Sagawa Express allows customers to specify a delivery location, such as the front door or a delivery box, when placing an order, as long as the shipper has a designated place delivery service contract with Sagawa. Japan Post offers delivery to places that meet the requirements, but if you wish to have it delivered, you need to submit a Request Form for Delivery to a Designated Place to the delivery post office.

For example, the number of delivery boxes installed in auto-locking condominiums is limited, so they may become full. In that case, the delivery person has to take the package home. In the end, there’s going to be a re-delivery.


Recently, there has been talk of an auto-lock unlocking system that allows the delivery person to enter the apartment only once by holding up a bar code. However, there are a host of problems with this system, such as the fact that placing packages in the hallway interferes with walking, and security concerns abound.

No such thing as free shipping.

The Emergency Package for Logistics Innovation also includes a point system for when a delivery date and time are specified with a certain amount of leeway.

“If we do this, delivery companies will have to create a new category for slow delivery, which will be even more tiring on the front lines,” said Mr. Kato. This will make the delivery site even more exhausted.

Will the government’s new measures really be able to cut the redelivery rate in half?


The government’s decision to give points will not eliminate redeliveries. The reason why so many people request re-delivery without any sense of regret is probably because they are aware that it doesn’t cost them anything. That’s why I have always said don’t display the free shipping sign. It makes consumers think that if shipping is free, re-delivery is also free. As long as truck drivers are delivering packages, there is no such thing as free shipping and free re-delivery.

“I used to live in the U.S. and if you are not at home when your package is delivered, you have to go to the post office to pick it up. And at the post office, you have to wait in a long line for more than an hour.

Considering this, Japan is too crazy to allow multiple re-deliveries to go unchecked. There is absolutely no respect for truck drivers.

“I believe this is due to Japan’s customer supremacy. Unless we change the mindset of consumers that service is free, it is impossible to halve the redelivery rate. I think it makes sense to charge a fee for redelivery, for example.”

In general, the problem of redelivery is the fault of the party that caused it. It is certainly more reasonable to charge for redelivery than to give points.

However, the hurdle is higher for the pay-as-you-go system. There is no doubt that it is difficult to create a system for this. But if the government is serious about reducing the redelivery rate by half, it should create a system to accommodate the fee-based system.

The major delivery companies subcontract out packages that cannot be delivered within the allotted working hours. That is why it is difficult for major full-time delivery drivers to be subject to overtime regulations.

The 2024 problem is not a home delivery problem. Long-haul truck driver work style reform

To begin with, the Emergency Package for Logistics Innovation was a cabinet decision by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to address the 2024 problem in a speedy manner.


The 2024 problem refers to the various problems that will arise when the Workplace Reform Law is applied to the trucking industry in April of next year. The maximum overtime hours for truck drivers will be capped at 960 hours per year, and there are concerns that this will lead to an acceleration of job turnover and labor shortages due to a decrease in driver income, and the resulting stagnation of trucking capacity.

There is a misunderstanding that the 2024 problem is not a home delivery problem in the first place. The 2024 problem concerns long-haul truck drivers who are engaged in business-to-business transportation, which accounts for the majority of transportation in Japan.

The driver sleeps in a bunk behind the driver’s seat of a large truck that travels long distances and travels around the country. The driver usually does not return home for a week, or two weeks in some cases. In other words, long-distance drivers tend to work long hours, which is why the reform of the way of working has led to a limit of 960 hours of overtime work per year.

The upper limit on overtime work (720 hours per year) under the Workplace Workplace Reform Law began in April 2018 for large companies, and in April 2020 for small and medium-sized companies. However, for automobile driving work, the overtime limit set by the Workplace Reform Law is far from the actual situation, so a deferral was granted until 2024, five years from now.


However, it was not until March 31 of this year that the government held its first cabinet meeting to address the 2024 issue.

Two months later, on June 2, Prime Minister Kishida held a second ministerial meeting and came up with a ‘policy package for logistics innovation. Finally, this month, he released the Emergency Package for Logistics Innovation, a package with five years to spare and only six months to go before the enforcement of the Law on Workplace Reform. Does he understand the meaning of speed?

Moreover, the package mainly focuses on measures to prevent cargo from being transported, such as improving the efficiency of logistics. The first thing to be protected by the reform of work styles should be the drivers, not the cargo.

Many truck drivers working in inter-company transport do not welcome the reduction in working hours. What is needed in the field to address the 2024 problem is to improve the working environment and guarantee wages, rather than to correct long working hours.

Inter-company transportation refers to transportation from production plants to distribution centers, distribution centers to supermarkets and convenience stores, parts manufacturing plants to construction sites, and so on. Ms. Hashimoto points out that it is difficult to be seen by the general public and can easily become a black box.

In the end, the Emergency Package for Logistics Innovation is also a measure devised by politicians, bureaucrats, and experts who do not know the actual situation on the ground.

The speed limit for heavy-duty trucks is 80 kilometers per hour, but the package includes a proposal to increase the speed limit because they will not be able to carry more cargo if their working hours become shorter. For example, if the speed limit is increased from 80 km/h to 100 km/h, how much of a burden would that 20 km difference be for drivers? Politicians do not think about it. People who don’t understand anything are making decisions based solely on the flow of money. As a result, the field is suffering even more.

“The reason why they come up with such a misguided idea of giving points to those who are given money for delivery is because the politicians don’t know anything about the field or the lives of ordinary people. I wrote in an author comment on Yahoo! News that giving points is not a solution to the redelivery problem, and I received more responses from users than from drivers.”

“The current government has a reputation for not listening to the people, so I think they are going to force their way through this.”

The government’s expenditure for the Mynapoint project, a measure to popularize the Mynumber Card, to award points worth up to 20,000 yen is expected to be in the order of 1 trillion yen. Nevertheless, this time, the points will be given to those who are left behind. Is it only a matter of time before Prime Minister Kishida’s nickname changes to point disbursement tax hike bullshit glasses.


Aiki Hashimoto is a freelance writer and personal author for Yahoo! Born in Osaka Prefecture. After taking over her father’s factory, she obtained a first-class heavy-duty automobile license and drove a truck around Japan. Currently writes about social issues related to blue-collar labor, gender, and cultural differences, and conducts media research. She is the author of Let the Truck Driver Speak (Shincho Shinsho) and Yasagure Truck Driver no Ippon Maze (KADOKAWA).

  • Interview and text by Sayuri Saito

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