Yamato Transport Co launches accessible delivery van

In the face of a growing driver shortage in Japan’s last mile delivery industry, Yamato Transport Co has launched a new electric delivery van with a large payload that can be driven with a standard driver’s license.

The van weighs in at 2.85 US tons and is 15.4ft long, 5.9ft wide and 7.2ft high. As such people can drive it without a special license, even with its larger capacity than standard vans – at around 1,323lbs – that can be driven with a driver’s license.

Yamato Transport are aiming the vehicle at female and elderly delivery drivers in a bid to increase driver numbers. The payload bay floor is around a metre from the ground, reducing the need to bend to reach for the parcels. In addition there are doors on all sides, enabling easier access to the parcels inside.

“[It] will expand employment opportunities for women and men,” CEO Toshizo Kurisu said during a news conference in Tokyo.

“[The new vehicle] can cater to Yamato employees’ requests that they want to switch from a large delivery vehicle to a small one due to their age,” he added.

Yamato Transport Co is planning to roll out some 500 of the electric delivery vans in January.

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