March 28, 2014, 9:53 AM

A new service speeds deliveries from Japanese e-retailers to Chinese shoppers

Yamato, Japan’s leading delivery carrier, will collaborate with China Post to overcome cross-border fulfillment obstacles.

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Chinese consumers are buying more products from overseas retail web sites, leading a variety of logistics providers to introduce services for shipping parcels into China. The latest example is an agreement between Yamato Holdings Co. and China Post to expedite delivery of orders placed on Japanese e-commerce sites to Chinese shoppers.

Beginning next month, Yamato will hand off shipments from Japanese e-retailers to China Post, a state-owned postal service that has extended its business into parcel delivery across China. Parcels will be collected in Japan by Yamato and then transported to Shanghai, China, by air from Tokyo Haneda Airport. China Post will distribute the parcels to consumers.

Yamato is the largest delivery company in Japan, handling 42.7% of deliveries in Japan, according to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Yamato entered China in 2010, but until now has only delivered to customers in Shanghai.

Yamato plans to work with Chinese customs authorities to simplify the import process and reduce the time required to clear customs.  Chinese consumers using the service will pay customs duties when they place their online orders, which should save time when the parcel arrives at customs. Yamato says online shoppers in Shanghai can expect to receive their parcels in three days using the new service, compared with 10 days today.

The shipping fee will be about 2,000 yen ($20) for parcels up to one kilogram (2.2 pounds) and 3,500 ($34) yen for packages up to two kilograms, according to Yamato.

A similar service for facilitating delivery of orders from U.S. e-retail sites to Chinese consumers is being developed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., operator of the largest online marketplaces in China.

International brands, including consumer brands from Japan, are very popular in China. Chinese online shoppers spent 120 billion yen ($1.17 billion) to purchase about 6 million products from Japanese e-commerce sites in 2012, and that order volume will reach 900 billion yen ($8.81 billion) by 2020, according to China E-commerce Research Center, a Chinese e-commerce research and consulting firm.

For more information about the Chinese e-retail market, click here for the newly released China 500 Guide. 

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