About one year and 2 months after Japan Post International Mail last increased the price on April 1st, 2021 (for EMS shipment to North American and Europe), Japan Post International Mail announced the revision of EMS and International Parcel rates and addition of tentative extra charges, starting from June 1st, 2022.

This announcement of new all-time high shipping rates of Japan Post is a big news for the online sellers who ship from Japan to overseas destination using the national postal service.

Our team at Ship&co will summarize all essential things you need to know about the announced increases over the next week. Here are few important points:

  • Reason why postage rates increased
  • Type of services that new rates will be applied
  • Change in the regional categories of rates for international parcels
  • New rates table for EMS and International parcels
  • Things to do when shipping rate is increasing

Reason why postage rates increased

Japan Post announced that increase was needed due to the below reason:

Transportation costs and delivery costs overseas have been rising significantly. To continue providing stable international mail service to our customers, some of our postal rates will be revised and tentative extra charges for EMS to some zones and international parcels handled as air mail will be added, starting on 1st June 2022

As the impact of the ongoing reduction in transportation capacity to various countries and territories during the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan Post International Mail Service has suspended the acceptance of postal parcels to several destinations. We expect this situation may continue until the number of inbound and outbound flights in Japan is back to normal.

Type of services that new rates will be applied

  • Express Mail Service (EMS)
  • International Parcel Post (Airmail)
  • International Parcel Post Economy Air (SAL)
  • International Parcel Post (Surface Mail)

Change in the regional categories of rates for international parcels

Additional to the price revision, the regional categories for international parcels will be changed in order to make it unified.

(Former) EMS(Former) International Parcels
East Asia, Guam, Midway Islands, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, etc.
Zone I
Oceania, North America, Central America, Middle EastSecond
Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia
Zone II
Oceania, Middle East, North America, Central America, West Indies, Europe
South America, AfricaFourth
South America, Africa

Originally, there are different regional categories for EMS and International Parcels. Japan Post International Mail will unify the zones for both postal services into 5 zones.

(New) EMS/International Parcels
China, South Korea, Taiwan
Asia (excluding China, South Korea, Taiwan)
Oceania, Canada, Mexico, Middle East, Europe
U.S. (including Guam and other U.S. territories)
Central and South America (excluding Mexico), Africa

If you are frequent shippers, you may already know Postal fee for EMS and International Parcels varies based on shipping destination and weight. So, make sure to check where you ship to most, how much it costs to ship with the new rates and calculate the new shipping cost for your online business!

New rates table for EMS and International parcels

Taking a look at tentative extra charges that will soon be added on June 1st, 2022 in the Japan Post International Mail service, we found the increase rate of each weight and destination is different. We assume it is due to the import and transportation cost that differs based on countries and region.

Check out the new rates table from the below link:

Reference: Notification of Revision of EMS and International Parcel Rates and Addition of Tentative Extra Charges

Based on the comparison between new and former rate of Japan Post International Mail, the first zone including China, South Korea and Taiwan rates slightly increased, comparing to the second to the fifth zone with much higher increase rate. Especially, the rate for the forth zone, United States, is set at 125-175% increase.

The below charts prove that the EMS rate of lighter parcels has increase more significantly than the heavier parcels.

First Zone: China, South Korea, Taiwan

EMS current and new rate for the first zone (Reference: LaunchCart)

Second Zone: Asia (excluding China, South Korea, Taiwan)

EMS current and new rate for the second zone (Reference: LaunchCart)

Third Zone: Oceania, Canada, Mexico, Middle East, Europe

EMS current and new rate for the third zone (Reference: LaunchCart)

Fourth Zone: U.S. (including Guam and other U.S. territories)

EMS current and new rate for the fourth zone (Reference: LaunchCart)

Fifth Zone: Central and South America (excluding Mexico), Africa

EMS current and new rate for the fifth zone (Reference: LaunchCart)

Things to do when shipping rate is increasing

It has now been quite common for the increased shipping rate, especially in the current pandemic.

But Japan Post International Mail is not the only mail carriers to increase postage rate in 2022. Early this year, FedEx, DHL and UPS already announced the increase shipping rate.

As an online business owner, let's make sure to check that the shipping costs are not eating your profit. Here are some ways to do exactly that.

1. Calculate the profit margin based on the new shipping rate

Obviously, Profit margin calculation is a must no matter where you sell, domestically or internationally.

It cannot be helped that shipping cost are skyrocketing these days. Considering that, it is now more important than ever for online businesses at all sizes to run a tight ship and always keep you eyes on store operating cost. Make sure the shipping cost is not a drain on profitability of your online business.

For instance, if you go with 'Free shipping' strategy to attract customers, you can either make shipping fee 100% paid by customers by including it in the product prices or dividing shipping fee 50%/50% between you and your customers.

If you find the shipping fee taking your store profit away, it'll be a good sign to find other shipping option or adjust the product price or shipping fee strategy.

2. Survey the shipping fee from multiple carriers

One of the best action to do when shipping rate increased is to always obtain shipping rates details from other carriers. Let's make this a good opportunity, especially for those of you who only ship internationally through Japan Post International Mail to check out services provided by other international carriers.

Most of the case, the discount rate will depend on how much volume you will ship but of course, how you negotiate with the carriers is important too.

New online sellers usually think services from major carriers like FedEx, DHL, UPS are too expensive but actually, that is not an absolute truth. Discount of each carrier differ based on the countries and some of them may be able to offer better rate for the specific region.

What we want to suggest you is to create the account with multiple carriers, compare the shipping rate for every orders to make sure you optimize the cost and maximize the profit of every orders received.

If you are now ready to move forward with multiple carriers, easy way to compare the rate every time before creating shipping labels is to utilize the shipping tool. The Shipping tool will give you a power to compare the rate based on the size and weight of your orders so that you can select the most more cost-effective shipping method for your orders.

Please keep these two points in mind and with little more time you spend on this, shipping rate increase trouble will no longer bother your business operation!

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Ship&co is a global shipping platform designed by and for e-commerce sellers. Created by the team behind Bento&co, who have been selling on Shopify since 2008, Ship&co provides a simple and easy-to-use web dashboard and shipping API. Ship&co helps online sellers ship packages faster by automatically syncing orders and creating shipping labels and invoices in minutes. With Ship&co, you can create shipping labels for FedEx, UPS, DHL, NinjaVan, Yamato, Sagawa, and more, with just two clicks to complete the process and mark your orders as shipped. For more information on Ship&co, visit shipandco.com or reach out to us via hello@shipandco.com !