TOKYO -- With online shopping taking root and door-to-door delivery in higher demand, Yamato Transport plans to tap the potential of stay-home moms and other women with free time in the morning.
Yamato delivery truck drivers now transport and drop off packages on their own. But rescheduled deliveries, particularly later in the day, have emerged as a drag on efficiency.
Japan's top delivery service has thus decided to adopt a "team delivery" model, with three or four workers dropping off packages in densely populated neighborhoods. A driver and two or three female couriers will cover a 300- to 1,000-meter block. The truck will serve as a mobile logistics center from which the women deliver packages by bicycle or hand cart.
The women will work about three hours in the morning, when people tend to be home. Yamato sees the rescheduling rate falling 10-20%.
The Yamato Holdings unit is expected to grow the pool of female couriers by 50% over the next three years to a total of 20,000 nationwide. As a first step, delivery teams will be dispatched in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and other major regional cities, accounting for around 10% of the company's delivery network in Japan.
Yamato also plans to upgrade working conditions for female part-timers. It is considering a pay system reflecting seniority and performance, as well as flexible assignments. Such policies will be implemented in fiscal 2015 following labor-management negotiations.