Saturday, October 26, 2013
Yamato Chilled By Lapses In Refrigerated Delivery
TOKYO (Nikkei)--With the year-end gift-giving season approaching, Yamato Transport Co. is scrambling to restore confidence in its chilled-products deliveries following revelations that the service failed to keep temperatures at proper levels.
The Yamato Holdings Co. (9064) unit has launched an investigation of all 4,000 or so locations in Japan to get to the bottom of the problem. It plans to have personnel at collection sites and sales offices follow its rules more closely, in addition to investing in specialized equipment and materials.
- Yamato officials apologize.
Yamato handled some 180 million parcels through its refrigerated shipping service last fiscal year, up 4% from the year before and dwarfing the 34.09 million of Sagawa Express Co.
Yamato shipped 1.48 billion parcels overall, not much more than second-ranked Sagawa's 1.35 billion.
While parcel delivery fees have declined amid stiff competition, refrigerated delivery remains a lucrative business. Yamato charges an additional 210-610 yen for the service on top of normal delivery rates. As the company's average parcel delivery fee declined 100 yen over a decade to 591 yen in fiscal 2012, refrigerated delivery has propped up earnings.
Yamato says that it has not confirmed damage to packages or health and that it has received no complaints. But unless it can address the problem quickly, corporate customers might sour on the service and avoid using it for gifts this holiday season.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 26 morning edition)