Rakuten One Delivery

Japan based online marketplace Rakuten has announced a number of programmes aimed at supporting its vision for a “One Delivery” end-to-end logistics service.

In a statement, Rakuten explained that its One Delivery vision “aims to further accelerate the expansion of its comprehensive logistics service for merchants on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace, from storage to delivery, and ensure a smooth process for the customer, from placing an order on the online marketplace through to receiving the product”.

Rakuten said that will both expand its network of fulfilment centres, and also increase efficiency within the fulfilment “through measures such as increased automation, reduction of labour requirements and inventory optimization by using order forecasting created with the use of Rakuten purchasing data and AI technology”.

Regarding expansion, the online marketplace is looking to improve the capacity of its existing fulfilment centers in Ichikawa, Chiba and Kawanishi, Hyogo, and to build new centres. To allow this to happen Rakuten is about to sign an agreement with Japan GLP to lease the entire floor of its large logistics facility GLP Nagareyama II and part of the space at GLP Hirakata III.

The company added: “Rakuten EXPRESS, Rakuten’s self-operated door-to-door delivery service, aims to expand its coverage area to all major cities of Japan.

“At the same time, updates to the UI/UX for Rakuten Ichiba marketplace users will aim to improve the convenience of deliveries for customers by allowing more options with respect to delivery location, timing and speed, as well as bundling of multiple orders.”

Alongside the improvements in its own logistics services, Rakuten said will also “collaborate with external partners to build a comprehensive logistics network that will allow centralized management of shipping related to Rakuten Ichiba”.

Rakuten said that it will “promote work-sharing with the delivery companies and operate large-scale logistics hubs, concentrating shipment volumes and sorting by destination”.  The company added that it is “also contributing to raising the productivity of external companies and improving shipment volumes by promoting initiatives to reduce the incidence of re-delivery to absent customers such as delivery status notifications and the Oki-hai service option”.