Japan picks up habit to use delivery lockers
DELIVERY lockers, where customers can pick up packages at their convenience, are becoming more common at train stations and other sites in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The lockers are expected to improve efficiency in the distribution industry, which is experiencing a shortage of delivery staff.
Delivery companies and others say they plan to place more of these lockers in business districts and other places to meet an expected rise in demand.
In July, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry conducted a one-month trial by placing two delivery lockers on the first floor of its building in Tokyo.
People who work in the building could have packages delivered to the lockers by notifying the delivery firms.
They could also designate the lockers as a destination for redeliveries if they were not home when packages arrived.
The government is considering putting lockers in other ministry and agency offices.
Keio launched a trial in February by replacing some of the coin lockers at Shinjuku and five other train stations with delivery lockers.
It plans to have delivery lockers in 69 stations by fiscal 2018.
East Japan Railway has announced a plan to partner with Yamato Transport and Japan Post to place delivery lockers at about 100 stations in the Tokyo area.
A Yamato survey found that many who used the lockers did so on their way home on weekday evenings or after the end of redeliveries at 9pm.
The lockers were also popular among women who did not want delivery staff coming to their homes.
Delivery firms benefit since the lockers reduce redeliveries. According to the Transport Ministry, redeliveries make up 20 per cent of the total.
Reducing them would also cut carbon dioxide emissions from trucks.
The lockers are also expected to be installed in supermarkets and carparks.
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK