Transportation / Mobility

September 12, 2006


DBJ Proposes Measures to Promote Modal Shift in Transport Industry

Keywords: Government Non-manufacturing industry Transportation / Mobility 

The Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) released a report in April 2006 on the current status of modal shifting in the transport industry in Japan, and some concrete measures to promote it further. The report says that trucking has dramatically increased its share of freight transport due to changes in social structure, deregulation, and increasing load capacity of trucks. In contrast, rail transport volume has remained virtually unchanged since Japan's economic "bubble" burst at the end of the 1980s.

The modal shift rate (the share of railroad and marine transport volume as a proportion of total long distance freight transportation, i.e., for distances over 500 kilometers) recovered to over 40 percent between 1996 and 1999, but declined to 32.1 percent in 2002. The Japanese government has set a target of over 50 percent for this indicator by 2010, and has been working on implementation of various policy instruments and regulations to this end: Examples of efforts include launching a subsidy system for testing low-impact distribution systems, establishing the Green Distribution Partnership Council, and introduction of the Law Concerning the Promotion of the Integration and Efficiency of Distribution Operations.

The report mentions examples such as companies that have made their logistics functions more eco-conscious and reduced costs by using rail transport, as well as using making better use of load capacity both inbound and outbound, and freight consolidation, through collaboration with other companies. The report lists three specific measures to promote modal shift: (1) promoting the introduction of advanced containers that are temperature controlled, (2) giving incentives such as tax breaks for the "Eco-Rail Mark" program (which certifies products or companies that promote modal shift), and (3) introducing a "Modal Selection" system that allows consumers to choose a shipping mode with lower environmental impacts when shopping online or looking for a package delivery service.

Posted: 2006/09/12 04:25:48 PM
Japanese version