Top Logistics Companies in Japan

Whether you sell through eCommerce or retail, you will need a reliable freight and logistics partner who can handle your shipments globally – and locally in Japan.

With many international and domestic companies offering a wide range of services, Japan’s logistics market might seem confusing at first glance. However, Japan’s eCommerce market and technological advancements like drones and tracking systems push this industry forward.

Check out the top logistics companies in Japan and how to find the right one.

Do Consumers Impact Japan’s Logistics Industry? Yes!

Since eCommerce took off, the logistics industry has seen a massive shift in consumer demands. Therefore, to ensure a satisfying customer experience in Japan, your logistics partner’s services should align with these expectations:

  • Delivery Tracking
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Sustainable shipping and packaging
  • Flexible payment options
  • Reliable delivery options (Same-Day/Next-Day Delivery)

Dominant Players of the Logistics Industry in Japan

These are the most recognized logistics businesses in Japan. Among them are domestic and international players with significant market shares.

1- Sagawa

With its origins in Kyoto, Sagawa is one of the leading logistics powerhouses. They offer various services like goods transportation, fast shipping, postal delivery, last-mile delivery, and air cargo services. Sagawa also provides third-party logistics solutions, including storage, stock management, and packing assistance. Operating since the middle of the last century, they have collaborated with giants like Amazon and Softbank and deliver door-to-door across over 220 countries.

2- Yamato

Yamato, the direct competitor to Sagawa, processes about 1.8 billion parcels annually within Japan and globally. Their services include regular and express delivery, distribution, packaging, air freight, and transportation of artwork. Founded in Tokyo and expanded across Japan, they have the broadest network in the country. Thousands of fulfillment centers and a capable courier workforce complement the logistics giant’s network of 12 regional and 90 branch offices. Moreover, their stellar customer support is another key component of their competitive advantage in the market.

3- Schenker-Seino

Schenker-Seino is one of the world’s largest and most diverse shipping networks, spanning over 141 countries and more than 2,000 cities. Their broad range of services includes air, sea, and surface forwarding, order fulfillment, eCommerce logistics, warehousing, and customs clearance solutions.

4- FedEx

FedEx, one of the largest logistics companies worldwide, has been operational in Japan since 1984 and gained a strong reputation. They process about 12.5 million packages daily and specialize in domestic eCommerce shipments. Besides that, their scope of services encompasses domestic and international shipping, third-party logistics, express shipments, last-mile delivery, distribution, and reverse logistics. 

5- DHL

Under the Deutsche Post Group, DHL assists businesses in reaching clients in over 220 countries. They offer different services, such as air, sea, and surface freight, shipments of bulk materials, specialized shipping solutions for delicate items, as well as domestic and international shipping. DHL has greatly invested in automation and tracking systems, striving to ensure an excellent customer experience supported by data and technology.

6- Blue Dart

As a division of the Deutsche Post Group, Blue Dart provides domestic and international shipment solutions, express delivery, cross-border eCommerce services, customs clearance, and 3PL services like warehousing, packaging, and temperature-controlled transportation.

7- UPS

UPS is one of the largest logistics companies globally. They provide a wide range of services, including shipping, scheduled pickups, international transportation, freight, customs clearance, and reverse logistics.

8- Nippon Express

Founded in 1937, Nippon Express is a renowned logistics service provider in Japan and worldwide. They offer international shipping via surface, air, and sea, supply chain management, and specialized services like fine art transport, transport of heavy loads, storage solutions, and distribution. They have an expanding international footprint, reaching almost 50 countries across several continents.

9- Japan Post

This company was founded in 2007 in Japan and is known as Japan Post Group. Japan Post has become a leading player in the global shipping industry and is the third-largest postal operator in the world. They offer shipping solutions in addition to banking and insurance services that most Japanese use daily.

How to Find the Right Logistics Partner?

Given the number of options available in Japan, there are essential factors you should consider:

  • Specialization: Every logistics company has its area of expertise. While some companies handle only shipping, others also handle storage, distribution, and customs clearance. Make sure the company you choose meets your needs. 

  • Additional Services: Check if the logistics company offers special solutions, such as insurance, packing, or reverse logistics.

  • Technological Capabilities: Look for a logistics partner who uses the latest technology to ensure fast and hassle-free shipping.

  • English Proficiency: If you’re working with a Japanese domestic logistics company, it’s essential they have English-speaking staff.

  • Track Record: Analyzing past performance and customer feedback can tell you a lot about a logistics partner’s reliability.

  • Expense: Charges vary based on volume and regularity. Ask for quotes from different companies to get the best price.

  • Domestic and International Reach: Remember that some companies might have a broader distribution network either locally or worldwide.

  • Company Policy and Regulations: Understanding the company’s transportation policies is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and complications.

  • Customer Support: If there are problems, having a logistics firm that can assist is vital. Therefore, make sure your partner offers superior customer service and knows how to handle problems with shipments.


Flexible and punctual delivery options are the key to gaining customer loyalty in Japan. For that reason, it is crucial to understand the logistics environment to expand your business to Japan successfully. Intense research and analysis of the different competitors are necessary to choose the right logistics partner and meet the Japanese market’s and its customers’ preferences.  

Looking for a Logistics Partner in Japan?

With COVUE, you can access reliable and efficient logistics solutions such as COVUE JIL or other 3rd-party logistics partners in Japan. With our partners and team, we will ensure your cargo is delivered safely and on time to your customers. 

Sources: Clickpost, Statista, HumbleBunny


Fast Fashion Market in Japan: Uncovering Competitive Dynamics

The fast fashion market in Japan is experiencing a skyrocketing popularity. The market size is projected to be over US$50.23bn in 2023. This offers a great business opportunity for foreign brands who wish to expand their business in the country.

However, navigating this industry can be challenging because of its ever-changing trends.

Competitive Dynamics of Japan’s Fast Fashion Market 

To succeed in the Japanese fast fashion market, it’s crucial to understand your target audience’s demographics and preferences. By staying attuned to the ever-shifting consumer demands, you can strategically position your brand to thrive in this dynamic market landscape. 

  • Consumers have become more conscious of sustainable products 
  • They prefer personalized experiences offline and online

Read more about the preferences of Japanese consumers. 

  1. Affordable Style: Renowned international brands like Zara and Shein are offering budget-friendly options.
  2. Trendiness: Brands offer the newest trends from the catwalk delivered to the home of the consumers.
  3. Quick Adaptation: Brands are staying relevant among their competition with special incentives and shopping experiences depending on the market developments.

Retail and eCommerce in Japan’s Fashion World

Japanese fashion markets are a blend of eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores. While fashion owns 27.8% of Japan’s eCommerce market, physical stores continue to hold a special place in consumers’ hearts. In fact, Japan is known for its unique in-person shopping experiences. Virtual and augmented reality technologies offer fresh ways to engage with customers online and offline.

The Leading Players in the Market

Competition in the Japanese fast fashion market is fierce, with major domestic and international brands competing for attention. You’ll face several challenges as a foreign fashion brand entering the Japanese market. From cultural differences to the challenges of the competition, it’s crucial to have a good strategy.

Homegrown brands like Uniqlo and GU hold a significant market share, while international brands such as H&M and Zara compete alongside them. Other successful brands carve out their niches and offer innovative designs and incentives, like Forever 21 and Shein.

Forever 21 

Forever 21, a well-known fast fashion brand, exited the Japanese market in 2019. They attributed their departure to the intense competition and rapid growth of online shopping.

However, the brand re-entered the market in 2023 with a fresh approach and emphasis on sustainability. Initially, they started with online sales and a showroom-type store in Tokyo. Later this year, they opened their first physical store in Osaka’s LaLaPort shopping mall.

Forever 21 intends to open 15 stores and achieve 10 billion yen in sales by 2028. To help achieve this goal, they collaborated with Adastria Co., a large Japanese apparel company. This collaboration focuses on strategic product planning and marks a shift from fast fashion to offering high-quality and environment-friendly products.


Shein, managed by a Singapore-based Chinese company, is a rising star in the SPA market. To capture the attention of the Japanese market, the brand strategically engaged with Tokyo Girls Collection events and established pop-up shops across the country.

Embracing the Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) model, Shein requires customers to purchase products online via QR codes. As the brand shows its fast growth potential in the Japanese market, its success is evident.


Japan’s fast fashion market presents brands with both opportunities and challenges. To successfully engage Japanese consumers, brands must understand and adapt to their unique preferences. You can create a strong brand presence by staying on top of the latest trends, pushing for innovation, and delivering personalized experiences.

Ready to Expand Your Business? 

Experience exponential brand growth in Japan’s vibrant fashion market with COVUE as your trusted partner. Our market knowledge and expertise guarantee a solid foundation for your brand’s expansion, fostering long-term success and recognition.

Sources: Japan Times, Statista, Asahi, Fibre2Fashion, Global News Wire

japan cashless payments

Japan Turns Digital: The Rising Trend in Cashless Payments 

Japan has long been known to rely heavily on cash for transactions.

However, as Japan progresses and embraces innovation, there has been a significant shift toward cashless payments. In this blog, we’ll explore the trends of contactless payments in Japan.

Types of Cashless Payments in Japan  

  1. IC Cards:

ICOCA, Suica, and Pasmo are some of the most popular IC cards and offer contactless transactions. The cards are rechargeable, and you can use them for public transportation and at different stores.

  1. Mobile Payment Apps:

Smartphone-based apps use QR codes or barcodes when buying. You can find apps like PayPay, LINE Pay, and Rakuten Pay in Japan. These applications offer rewards, cashback, or discounts.

  1. Digital Wallets:

Digital wallets provide secure payments via smartphones or smartwatches by using NFC technology. Widely used are Apple Pay and Google Pay.

  1. Credit Cards:

Japan’s most common cashless payment method is credit cards. JCB, Visa, and Mastercard are popular, and they come with rewards and incentives.

Does Japan become cashless? Yes! 

Japan’s transition to a cashless society was outlined in the “Cashless Vision”. The Ministry of Economic, Trade, and Industry (METI) developed it in 2018 and anticipates that 40% of transactions will be cashless by 2025. Due to the pandemic, cashless payment transactions have witnessed significant growth over the past year.

According to Shuji Kobayakawa, an economist at Meiji University in Tokyo, “more people avoid handling coins.” Moreover, the government encourages cashless shopping by giving reward points to anyone registering for My Number personal identity cards. 

Not just that!

Recently, Japan loosened its COVID-19 entry requirements, and expectations about the economic benefits of tourism have increased. Cashless options are beneficial to support tourism as travelers from other countries are used to contactless transactions. For these and other reasons, more and more Japanese customers use cashless methods, as you can see from the growth usage in 2022:

  • QR code payments increased by 50%
  • Credit card payments increased by 16%
  • e-money payments increased by 2%

Salary payments go cashless!

The Japanese government plans an online salary payment system without using bank accounts by spring 2023. This system aims to solve foreign workers’ payment issues, reduce bureaucracy, and support economic growth. Despite this, only 30 percent of businesses are considering digital salary payments right now, according to a survey conducted by Works Human Intelligence. That shows some sort of resistance to the changes. The government will have to create even more incentives in the future to promote cashless transactions.

With this rising trend, how can you use this as an opportunity to grow your brand?

 Here are some ideas:

  • Offer incentives like cashback and point awards for specific payment methods, as Japanese people love collecting points and receiving rewards.
  • Provide cashless payment options in your online store (e.g., credit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards) that align with local preferences.
  • Ensure secure, reliable, and user-friendly payment systems that increase customer satisfaction and loyalty to drive sales.

Read more about the TOP 8 payment options in Japan.


Japan’s move toward a cashless society changes consumer and business interactions. As a business selling in Japan, you must be aware of these ongoing trends to adjust and provide a variety of payment choices to meet consumer expectations.

Need help setting up your cashless payment methods?

COVUE’s payment solutions allow unrestricted access to most payment options in Japan. We help you to set these up so that you can capture more paying Japanese customers.

Sources: ; ;