The third wealthiest economy in the world receives an overall of 524,100 million dollars in exports from third countries per year. Among others, Japan receives energy resources and minerals, as well as meat to satisfy the strong domestic demand. The ocean freight to Japan from the European Union countries has developed since the second half of the 20th century, and the EU is one of the main trading partners of Japan. Despite this, Japan’s balance of trade is positive, which highlights its prosperity.
The economic rise experimented by Japan since the end of the Second World War, along with a strict control on productivity and a massive investment in industry, has made the ocean freight to Japan one of the most attractive business activities in the world.
In case the volume for your shipment ranges between 11 and 25 europallets (each europallet has dimensions of 1.2m x 0.8m) or 10 and 21 standard pallets or its multiples (the size of each standard American pallet is 39.37 inches wide and 47.24 inches long), you will enjoy the greatest cost efficiency for your transport dollar, since this is the exact respective maximum capacity of the 20-foot and 40-foot containers that you will have at your disposal.
In that way, the exporter can optimize his shipping costs because the container is filled up. Remember that FCL shipping is a cost-effective solution when more than half of a container is filled. Besides, a Full Container Load is also an excellent option for the exporter who wants to prevent his goods from being exposed to the products belonging to other traders, thus avoiding any damage or contamination that may occur.
In other situations, when you don’t have enough cargo to fill up a container, shipping a container to Japan with the groupage modality will undoubtedly be the best alternative. This way involves sharing the container with other goods belonging to other traders, but you pay only for the space used by your cargo, with great savings on your shipping costs.
Japanese foreign trade is more than 1000 billion dollars in imported and exported goods. Although Japan is a small country, such volume makes necessary to have a large number of ports that all are along the coast: Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Akita, Hakata/Fukuoka, Hiro, Imabari, Iwakuni, Matsuyama, Moji, Moji (Kitakyushu), Nagoya (Aichi), Nagoya (Oita), Naha (Okinawa), Naoetsu, Niigata, Omaezaki, Sendai (Kagoshima), Shimizu, Tomkowai, Toyama, Yokkaichi and Yokohama.
The Port of Tokyo is still one of the most important port facilities in Japan, both in passengers and containers, but its small depth has limited, in the last years, the number of vessels berthing. Despite this, this port handled 4 million TEUs, thanks to its 15 berths with a total 4479 meters of quays. The port has four terminals: (Oil terminal, Aomi terminal, Shinagawa terminal and Kamigumi-Tokyo terminal), 2 foodstuff terminal, 5 general cargo terminals and 2 Ro-Ro terminals, with a storage capacity of 22000 cars.
The 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake destroyed most of what previously was the most important port in the world. The Port of Kobe is currently the fourth most important port in Japan, servicing both container vessels and passenger ferries, with 34 container berths.
The Port of Osaka is just 10 km away from the city of the same name, and is considered the main logistic hub in the west of Japan. It has terminals for both containers and passenger ferries. Besides the six berths at Sakishima (Nanko), it currently has a new operations base located in the Yumeshima area, which incorporated an additional terminal with a quay length of 1350 meters. This provides multimodal load/unload services; special load services and Ro-Ro, handling a total of around 90000 tons of freight.