TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s largest package delivery company, Yamato Transport Co, is considering plans to open a new distribution facility with labor-saving technology near Tokyo early next year, its chief executive said on Friday.
“I expect the labor shortage to continue,” Yutaka Nagao said in an interview. “We need to consider labor-saving measures.”
The company, a core unit of Yamato Holdings Co (T:) that is known for its black cat logo, has become a symbol of Japan Inc’s struggle with labor shortages.
It has experienced a surge in parcel volume because of the country’s growing use of e-commerce retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (O:).
“It’s especially difficult to find workers in big cities,” Nagao added. “The labor shortage got more severe in December.”
To pass on ballooning labor costs, the company this year started negotiation with its 1,100 biggest corporate shippers to reduce their volume discounts. Nagao said the company had also been talking with smaller corporate clients over a price hike.
“Our service prices have not yet reached fair levels,” he said.
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