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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: News and Current Events in Japan, Season 1 - Lesson 13, Delivery Service Industry Shortages
In the age of online shopping, courier services are struggling to meet the demand.
In this lesson, we'll learn about this news story.

Lesson focus

The logistics industry is screaming right now.
The labor union of the major home-delivery company, Yamato Transport, asked the company side to suppress the amount of parcel delivery receipts during the spring labor-management negotiations in 2017.
In other words, the industry is facing the serious situation of not being able to carry any more.
Several factors have contributed to this situation, but the most likely cause is probably the expansion of online shopping.
With the explosive growth of Amazon and various e-commerce sites, the competition of "fast" and "cheap" has been intensified.
If ordered by noon, it’s normal to get the goods delivered the next day. But now even deliveries by the evening of the same day have become common.
The rapid popularization of smartphones and tablets spurred the growth of online shopping, which facilitated comparison, and intensified sales competition.
In addition, compliance with consumers seeking free shipping pushed down courier profits and fell into a situation of imposing low wages and overworking employees.
While hands are limited, the amount of packages has increased dramatically. Additionally, the provision of services, such as redelivery, has strained employees physically and mentally.
It is not easy, of course, to replace employees who give up on harsh workplaces and quit.
It is inevitable that the delivery industry, which has reached criticality in this way, will re-examine their services and employee duties.
Yamato Transport and others are embarking on reforms, such as raising the price of courier fees and recognizing ways employees can work flexibly.
Meanwhile, there is also a need for common sense practices, such as setting up delivery boxes, so that users don’t have to request redelivery.
It is necessary for both the home delivery industry and consumers, who have become accustomed to excessive service competition, to work together to solve the problem.


Those are the key facts about the delivery service industry shortages in Japan.
If you want to find the related Japanese keywords, make sure to check out the lesson notes.
Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening everyone, and keep listening for more of the most talked about news stories in Japan!