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7.19.2017

Yamato vs Sagawa vs Japan Post: New Rates from September Comparison

When Yamato's labour union asked management to stop accepting additional business, shockwaves hit the nation because Japan has now officially become the first market in the world to reach full parcel deliveries capacity, it seems.

As at end March 2017, Yamato announced that it delivered a total of 1,867,563,562 parcels for the financial year. If it still has 48% of the market, the total number of parcels delivered in fiscal 2016 would be estimated to be just under 4 billion, or approximately 50 parcels a year for every Japanese person aged between 15 and 64. As an avid e-commerce fan, I probably receive at least double that, and it is certainly enough for me to wish there was a more frequent collection of used cardboard boxes than the current once a month. (We have to sort our rubbish in Japan, and waste to be recycled has designated collection days each month by category. For cardboard, it is once a month where I live, on the last Wednesday of the month.)

And since the Yamato announcement, we have seen postings by a courier insider blowing the whistle on the inhumane working conditions at a courier, and more recently, Nikoniko published interviews of staff at a courier depot and an amazon depot, in which the courier staff claims that his work hours are from 8 to 28, or 8 am to 4 am the following day. There is also mention of how the legally mandated one-hour lunch break is cut back to as little as 15 minutes during peak times, and management insisting that drivers continue to deliver after midnight if he has not emptied his truck, despite the last delivery slot being up to 9 pm.

Against this harsh backdrop of too much growth killing the industry players like a voracious cancer eating its way through the host, price hikes are coming into play from September 2017. Yamato is raising its published rates for the first time in 27 years, and will officially become the most expensive courier of the big 3.


Sizes are determined by the total measurement of the box: Height + Width + Depth.

The table shows that Sagawa has already introduced new weight surcharges above the thresholds. Previously, as in the case of Yamato and Japan Post, the weight limit for the standard prices was 20kg across the board. But now, Sagawa charges surcharges based on the different weight limits for each size.

In addition to the price hike, Yamato has announced that it will reduce the different delivery time slots from the current 6 slots to 5, doing away with the 12pm to 2 pm slot. 

Also, Yamato currently allows recipients to call for a 2nd delivery attempt up to 8 pm on the day of the attempted delivery, but is cutting that down to 7 pm for same day delivery of the initially failed delivery attempt.

There will also be discounts of 50 yen for electronic shipping labels and a further 50 yen for deliveries being picked up at Yamato's directly operated delivery stations.

No Sign of Decline in Volumes for Yamato at This Time

Yamato's volumes are showing no signs of declining despite its reduction in business with amazon, whereby amazon is being forced to farm out its same-day delivery parcels and other deliveries to one of its five new delivery partners who aggregate small and medium sized local delivery agents.

According to its press releases, Yamato's volume since April are as follows:

  • April 2017: 143,361,077 (103.4% over previous year)
  • May 2017: 149,033,220 (107.3% over previous year)
  • June 2017: 158,455,390 (104.6% over previous year)

7.06.2017

Instagram Monetized through Image Search on SNAP by IQON

Fashion shopping online can be fun, but it can also be the most frustrating thing in the world, because when you like something you saw in a magazine, paparazzi photo, or on Instagram and you go looking for it, finding a needle in a hay stack would be easier.

How many times have you seen things on Gigi or Lady Gaga that you absolutely wanted but have no clue where to find it or something like it?

It is one thing when it is as simple as trying to find a pair of sleek black skinny jeans and pointy toe ballet slipper a la Kate Moss. But it is quite another when you want to find something a bit more designed, textured, and colorful.

Putting Words to Styles is SO HARD!

For example, say you like that green skirt and (what color IS that???) pink/red fluffy bag in this photo. How would you go about shopping for these things?

After hours of searching images on Google or in Polyvore, you might just need to run into ZARA to see if you get lucky? If only it was not 1 am, the peak e-commerce time in Japan.

So, comes a savior to save women with an e-commerce platform where pictures are worth a thousand words, literally.

SNAP by IQON, launched in March 2017, is using its Instagram account to monetize Instagram like no one else.




The company who operates the site and account, VASILY, Inc. has rounded up approximately 60 models and style icons who are popular on Instagram. When these Instagram fashion icons post images, they appear on SNAP's account. 


SNAP analyzes the images using AI (artificial intelligence), and makes recommendations on the various items it detects be it a dress, bag, shoes, a T shirt, skirt, or trousers. 




The recommendations are pulled from over 200 different e-commerce sites that VASILY is affiliated with. And thus, is able to offer a wide range of prices as well. 

Now that Instagram and apps like Starttoday's WEAR is changing the way the fashion conscious are gathering information on what to wear and how to wear them, fashion magazines alone are not the "go to" destinations. And while fashion catalogues are becoming more sophisticated, they are restricted by lead times and print runs.

The real trends happening now linked to buy now platforms are accelerating the demand for such services as SNAP by IQON.

UNIQLO has also released an image search function in their app, where customers can upload a photo onto image search from their smartphones and UNIQLO will find items on their site that are similar to the items worn in the photo. The images to be uploaded do not need to be of UNIQLO clothing, but UNIQLO will find something UNIQLO that is closest to the image.