Are you an e-commerce business owner based in Japan, looking to expand your customer base overseas?
Shipping your products internationally can seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it doesn't have to be! Japan Post International Mail is the most widely used shipping carrier for international shipping from Japan.
In this episode of Shipping in Japan 101, we will walk you through the shipping services offered by Japan Post International Mail (国際郵便) and all you need to know when shipping internationally from Japan with Japan Post including their shipping tool, International Mail My-page Service (国際郵便マイページサービス).
Don't forget to check out the previous episode about Yamato Transport (Kuroneko Yamato), Sagawa Express and Japan Post (Yu-pack & Yu-packet) !
Let's dive in!
Introduction to Japan Post International Mail
Japan Post International Mail (国際郵便) is an international shipping service provided by Japan National Post or the post office in Japan.
Japan Post offers a wide range of shipping options, including express mail, airmail and surface mail, as well as various delivery speeds and insurance options to fit your needs.
With Japan Post International Mail, you can send packages and letters to almost any country in the world, and enjoy the convenience of online tracking and delivery confirmation. Whether you're sending personal items or commercial goods, Japan Post International Mail is a great option for shipping from Japan.
When considering sending packages overseas for your online store in Japan, Japan Post International Mail service is often the first option that comes to mind for many ecommerce sellers in Japan.
International Shipping with Japan Post International Mail
In this topic, we will give you a quick rundown of the international shipping service provided by Japan Post International Mail.
1. Express Mail Service or EMS (国際スピード郵便)
Express Mail Service or EMS (国際スピード郵便) is a service to send up to 30 kg of documents and merchandise to over 120 countries and territories worldwide. It takes approximately 2-4 days until the package is arrived to the destination address and comes with a tracking service that allows you to check which process of shipping your package is in.
- EMS for sending a document (EMS - 書類) - Deliver a document with in 2-4 days.
- EMS for sending a package (EMS - 物品) - Deliver a merchandise weighed up to 30 kg within 2-4 days.
*You can use EMS service to ship to P.O. Boxes overseas. Please first check the EMS Countries and Regions or contact the post office for more details.
2. International ePacket (国際eパケット)
International ePacket (国際eパケット) is a service to send a package using Airmail. It takes approximately 3-6 days to delivery but this service comes with a cost-effective pricing which is cheaper comparing to EMS service.
Unlike EMS, tracking service of International ePacket is available only for some countries. There is also a maximum 6000-yen insurance.
- International ePacket (国際eパケット) - Deliver an item weighing less than 2 kg to the addressee's mailbox within 3-6 days using airmail service.
- International ePacket Light (国際eパケットライト) - Deliver an item weighing less than 2 kg to the addressee's mailbox within 3-6 days using a SAL (Surface Air Lift) small packet service
3. International Parcel Post (国際小包)
International Parcel Post (国際小包) is a service to send a package with the maximum weight limit for up to 30 kg. (Weight limits vary by country.) This service comes with three shipping types for outbound parcels that vary by speed and cost and a shipping insurance service so you can insure your parcels against loss or damage.
- International Parcel Post Airmail (国際小包 航空便) - Deliver a package within approximately 3 - 6 days
- International Parcel Post Economy Air - SAL (国際小包 SAL便) - Deliver a package within approximately 6 to 13 days.
- International Parcel Post Surface Mail (国際小包 船便) - Deliver a package within approximately 1 to 3 months
4. Small Packet (小形包装物)
Small Packet (小形包装物) is a service to send a package with the maximum weight for less than or equal to 2 kg. It is less expensive option comparing to Express Mail Service (EMS) or International Parcel Post. This service doesn't come with a parcel tracking option.
- Small Packet Airmail (小形包装物 航空便) - Deliver a package within approximately 3 - 6 days
- Small Packet Economy Air - SAL (小形包装物 SAL便) - Deliver a package within approximately 6 to 13 days.
- Small Packet Surface Mail (小形包装物 船便) - Deliver a package within approximately 1 to 3 months
5. Small Packet Registered Mail (小形包装物 書留)
Small Packet Registered Mail (小形包装物 書留) is a service to send a letter-post item as a Registered Mail. Using this service, you can ensure that the actual damages will be paid in recompense within the range of the insured value stated at the moment of shipment for up to 6000 yen.
This service covers sending letters, postcards, greeting cards, small packets and any printed matters. Tracking service is available only for some destinations.
＊Please note that all SAL shipments have been temporarily suspended.
How to select the best shipping options for your online store?
Shipping is a critical aspect of any online store. The shipping options you offer can make or break your business, as it can impact your customers' satisfaction, the delivery time, and the cost of shipping. Here are some tips from Ship&co:
- Know your customers' needs: Some customers may want their products delivered quickly, while others may be willing to wait for cheaper shipping options.
- Consider product size and weight: The size and weight of your product will determine the shipping costs. Light and small products can be shipped using cheaper options such as small packet.
- Factor in shipping costs: Shipping costs can impact your profit margins, so it's important to consider them when selecting shipping options. If you are planning to ship a lot with Japan Post, make sure to check their volume discount.
- Offer tracking and insurance: Customers expect to know the status of their orders and want the ability to track the packages. Consider offering tracking information and insurance for high-value items to provide your customers with peace of mind.
Ecommerce merchants in Japan usually send a packet using EMS or ePacket service since in most cases, parcel delivery for ecommerce is time-sensitive.
However, there are also those sellers who offer a pre-order product or allow customers to combine several orders and ship in a big lot. If your customers are less likely to concern about fast delivery, you can ship with the cheapest option using SAL or Surface Mail services from Japan Post.
See below for how to select the best shipping options for your online store.
By understanding the available shipping service and considering your customers' need, you can provide your customers with a positive shipping experience while maintaining your business's profitability.
Shipping with Japan Post International Mail
You can ship packages with Japan Post International Mail service by following these steps:
Step 1: Check if the item(s) can be sent
・Certain items such as hazardous materials, flammable liquids, and perishable goods may not be eligible for shipping. You can find more information on Nonmailable Articles in International Mail on the Japan Post website.
Step 2: Choose a shipping option
・Japan Post International Mail service offers several shipping options, including EMS, Airmail, SAL, and Surface Mail. Choose the option that best suits your needs, taking into account the delivery time and cost.
Step 3: Prepare a shipping label and other required documents
・You can create a shipping label by filling out the required information on Japan Post's online shipping tool, International Mail My Page Service, or a shipping tool for ecommerce sellers, Ship&co. By using those tools, you can create a customs declaration form together with shipping label.
Step 4: Pack your item(s)
・Ensure that your package is securely packed and labeled with the recipient's name, address, and contact information. If you ship with EMS, make sure to include all required documents in the shipping pouch.
Step 5: Ship it ! 🚀
・Take your package to your local post office and pay for shipping cost.
For those who still have no idea how to create shipping label for Japan Post International Mail, stay composed. We will give you the answer.
International Mail My Page Service (国際郵便マイページサービス)
International Mail My Page Service (国際郵便マイページサービス) is a free shipping tool offered by Japan Post in order to create shipping label required to send an international mail.
It is essential to use online shipping tool since most countries now require shipper to send shipping data as Electronic Advance Data (EAD).
If you haven't got an account yet, you can register your information as an individual customer or corporate customer from this website.
How to create shipping labels for Japan Post International Mail
As mentioned earlier, you can either use International Mail My Page Service or Ship&co to create shipping labels.
So how will you decide?
Simple as it is, if you are shipping parcels for your online stores, Ship&co is a good option to go for. The reason is because this shipping tool is a tool specifically made for ecommerce sellers while also allowing you to ship without having a contract with Japan Post.
By using Ship&co, you can ship your orders from your online store like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, BASE, ColorMe or from your marketplace store such as eBay, Amazon, Etsy and more – all from a single dashboard!
Here are some of features you can enjoy:
- Auto-sync feature: Sync orders from online shops so that you no longer have to use CSV file or manual input to the system.
- Multi-carrier shipping feature: Access to shipping power, not only Japan Post domestic and international but also other domestic carriers in Japan such as Sagawa Express, Yamato Transport, Seino Transport, and international carriers such as FedEx, DHL, UPS and more.
- Automatically fulfill & track feature: Update order status as fulfilled/shipped, plus send the tracking number to your online shop instantly.
- Up-to-date tracking: Track statuses of your parcels shipped by Japan Post International Mail service right from a single dashboard, Shipment page of Ship&co.
Need to ship with Japan Post International Mail? See this video for how to ship online Shopify orders with EMS service from Japan Post and automatically fulfill orders with in a single click !
Easily connect your online shop with Ship&co to scale up your shipping power
We hope Ship&co will help you get instant access to Japan Post shipping power and manage any online shops you have from all-in-one interface. Shipping parcels international with Japan Post is as easy as it should be !
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 email@example.com !