Transport Japan with Seacon Logistics

Seacon Logistics is your logistics service provider and central point of contact for transport to and from Japan. From strategic locations and together with our worldwide network of agents and partners, we quickly, smoothly and cost-effectively take care of your transport. From full loads (FTL), part loads (LTL), pallets, intermodal to special transport

Japan is the world's largest economy after the US and China. It should come as no surprise that this leads to high global imports and exports. The country compensates for its lack of raw materials (only 15% of the available land can be used for agriculture) with an extremely high trade volume. This makes Japan one of the most important transhipment centres in the world, especially in the Pacific region. 

Thanks to the free trade agreement that came into effect in 2019, trade barriers such as customs duties have been lifted. As a result, Japan trades intensively with the EU. The abolition of 99% of EU tariffs and 97% of Japanese tariffs makes Japan an attractive logistics location for the European market

With a population of over 100 million and an area of approximately 400,000 km², Japan has a relatively high population density.This is concentrated in a few areas along the 30,000-kilometre-long coastline. With a high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, Japan is considered a prosperous industrial country with a diverse economy and healthy growth. 

However, the high national debt of more than 260% of GDP must be noted as a risk factor. Nevertheless, Japan has a stable monetary system with an independent central bank and is backed by an A+ credit rating from the Standard and Poor's agency. 

As one of the major producers in the automotive, electronics, industrial, textile and food sectors, Japan has a diversified economy and is highly active in many economic sectors. This makes the country an important industrial hub for international companies from various sectors. 

For Japan transport, it is only logical for you as a company – together with Seacon as your professional partner – to take your logistics to a higher level. On this page, you can read more about our transport solutions for Japan.

Key transport routes Japan and your benefits 

Japan uses all transportation routes such as air, sea and land. Japan's sea route accounts for 99% of its trade and is therefore of particular importance to the country. This is due to Japan’s location, because as an island nation, important international trading partners can only be reached by sea. As a result, the Japanese ports have an enormous throughput volume and are very attractive for companies due to the proximity of both the Asian and American economic zones. 

Japan does not have any inland waterways, so domestic transport mainly takes place by road. Therefore, Japan is investing in its road network. Transport via highways and expressways is extremely efficient and fast, and with 1.2 million kilometres it is one of the largest road networks in the world. 

With 8,166 kilometres of track, Japan's railway network is one of the densest passenger railway networks in the world. Rail transport plays a subordinate role here, as alternatives such as the road network or coastal shipping appear to be more efficient alternatives. However, the railway network also offers opportunities, as climate policy calls for a switch from road to rail. 

Thanks to Tokyo-Narita Airport, one of the ten largest airports in the world, Japan is internationally connected by air. The fast connections between airports and ports via the road network are an ideal combination for intermodal transport

As part of the Comprehensive Distribution Policy – adopted in 2017 – Japan is preparing its entire logistics system for the future. This includes the introduction of automated vehicles, drones, and smart ports and warehouses. This is expected to eliminate problems such as a shortage of drivers and disruptions in the supply chain during a pandemic. 

Aerial view of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) on Tokyo Bay | Transport Japan | Seacon Logistics
Skyline of Tokyo city including Tokyo Tower and Mount Fuji | Transport Japan | Seacon Logistics

Important cities for cargo transportation in Japan 

All major transit points are located in the country's metropolitan areas. More than 39 million people live in Tokyo alone, making it the largest city in the world. Japan's logistics centres, therefore, not only serve as distributors for the import and export of goods but also help the surrounding businesses thrive. 

Tokyo and Osaka are the largest agglomerations in Japan, but industrial locations such as Kobe and Nagoya are important international hubs for global cargo transport. All four cities have ports, which are ideal for global transport. Tokyo's internationally important airport perfectly complements the sea route, making intermodal transport possible. 

Transport solutions from Seacon Logistics

We offer different types of transport to and from Japan. Whether it concerns general cargo, less-than-truckload or full-truckload shipping, air freight, sea freight or freight transport – we will ensure that your goods arrive at their destination safely and on time. Below you will find our transport solutions to and from Japan:

  • Groupage transport to Japan 
  • Pallet shipment
  • Partial loads (LTL / LCL)
  • Full loads (FCL / FTL)
  • Rail transport
  • Deliveries in the city centre
  • Delivery with tailboard
  • Express delivery to Japan
Panorama of Osaka city showing Osaka Castle in green | Transport Japan | Seacon Logistics

Groupage Japan - LCL and LTL

The term LTL (Less Than Truck Load) is used in freight transport to indicate that only part of the available cargo space of the truck is filled. In the logistics industry, it is therefore common to combine several partial loads at one loading point or to add a partial load. In short, groupage or LTL is therefore the merging of several smaller loads into one larger load. This optimises the use of the freight container during road freight.

The abbreviation LCL stands for Less than Container Load and in sea freight refers to shipments that do not fill an entire container and are combined with other general cargo in a consolidated container. LCL transport mainly offers price advantages and some benefits in practical handling and stowage. For general cargo, only proportionate transport costs are incurred for the use of the container volume.

Full loads Japan - FCL or FTL

The abbreviation FCL (Full Container Load) is used in sea freight for full container loads. Unlike LCL: a load that only partially fills a container. With FCL loads, the container is loaded by a shipper and unloaded at the destination by a consignee.

With an FTL delivery (Full Truck Load), the shipment fills the entire available cargo space. The truck transports this shipment to its destination without reloading. This is for one recipient. This completely utilises the truck’s transport capacity. 

Fast delivery is the main advantage of FTL. This is because there is no need for transhipment or extra route planning to different recipients. The truck drives directly to one destination. It is the most effective method of transporting goods by road to a final destination. 


You agree to our privacy policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Loading special transport onto a truck. | Seacon Logistics

Special transport Japan

In our wide range of transport services, we also offer special transport to and from Japan. This is the worldwide transport of long, high and heavy goods that do not fit in a container or truck. We believe it is important to comply with all international regulations and guidelines in this type of transport. Especially when transporting dangerous goods, regardless of whether they are transported to or from Japan to abroad. Below you will find an overview of all goods that Seacon Logistics transports: 

  • Long goods
  • Dangerous goods (ADR)
  • Boxes (KTN)
  • Boxes (BOX)
  • Bundles
  • Heavy load
  • Pallets (PLT)
  • Gitter boxes (GIBO)
  • Barrels (FSS)
  • Other loose goods

Transport options Japan: to and from Asia, America, Europe and Africa

At Seacon Logistics we understand that, in addition to the quality of your products, fast shipping and associated satisfied customers are of great importance. That is why we facilitate the worldwide transport of your goods in all aspects. Goods transport within Europe is usually handled via road freight, but for shipments to and from Asia, America and Africa, we of course also have sea freight and air freight at your disposal.

From our locations at strategically located terminals, we supply all major consumer markets. By outsourcing your transport to and from Japan to Seacon Logistics, you benefit from the advantage that you do not have to worry about complicated coordination across different continents and time zones. With us, you are guaranteed – partly thanks to the excellent cooperation with our partner network – a fast, efficient and well-organised shipment. 

Container terminal from above, showing a container ship loading sea freight and moving trucks (road transport). | Seacon Logistics

Transit and delivery times for transport to Japan

To satisfy you and meet all your requirements, reliability and speed are paramount at Seacon Logistics. That is why we work closely with a worldwide partner network and can plan, execute and organise your transport efficiently. 

It is also possible to send express shipments, we arrange this in collaboration with our network. Fast transport services and our in-house customs clearance ensure that your transport from Japan arrives at your customer faster than usual. 

For daily updated information and reliable transport planning, please contact us directly. Our specialists are always ready to help you. 

Customs: the correct import and export documents

Our focus is always on the entire logistics chain. To serve you even better, our in-house customs department takes care of the necessary import and export documents and transport certificates. Our Compliance Desk checks whether your goods comply with all guidelines and sanction regulations at the place of destination. This way you will not be faced with unpleasant surprises and you can concentrate on your core business. Thanks to our status as Authorised Economic Operator (previously AEO-certified) and 'preferred supplier', we can minimise delays. An important advantage for you as a customer.

Want to know more about how we unburden you in terms of customs and customs declarations? 

More about customs

Incoterms®: Protect your international trade with Japan

As a global logistics chain director, Seacon Logistics deals a lot with Incoterms®. Although we are not involved in the commercial agreements between buyer and seller, we are often consulted about the dangers and consequences of the various Incoterms® before a transaction is concluded. In practice, many companies still underestimate the risks.

To ensure that contractual formulas in the trade of goods are interpreted equally by buyer and seller, we have created a white paper and an infographic. 

View our Incoterms® page

Important additional information: Public holidays, driving bans and local details

When importing or exporting goods to the island state of Japan, it is important to consider some special features. The Asian country has its own local laws and regulations, and a different economic and monetary system compared to Europe, for example. Below are some details that you should keep in mind: 

  • Tolls: Japanese highways and expressways charge tolls, which are typically processed via the Electronic Toll Collect System (ETC) for most routes.
  • Currency: The currency used in Japan is called the Japanese yen. In Latin script, the yen is abbreviated to the symbol ¥.
  • Traffic drives on the left: In Japan, traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Pacific Economic Alliance: Japan is a member of the Pacific Economic Alliance and is also a member of all major international organisations such as NATO or the UN.

If you have more detailed questions about the specifics or rules in Japan, please feel free to contact our team. In a joint logistic analysis, we examine which aspects are relevant for your goods transport. 

The strength of Seacon: logistics at its heart since 1985

Since the establishment of Seacon Logistics, we have been building our organisation as a leading logistics chain director. Today, Seacon Logistics has over 700 employees at various strategic locations throughout Europe. Yet the origins of the family business can still be felt in our organisation. And that is precisely where our strength lies. Logistic services from the heart, that's what we are all about!

With a strong we-feeling, we take on logistical challenges and work together to serve you as our customer in the best possible way. With innovative and efficient solutions, we take your logistics to a new level. Transparent communication, personal approach and entrepreneurship are the basis of our customers' trust. 

Are you interested in a transport solution to a country other than Japan? Then take a look at one of our many other partner countries:

Would you like to receive a quote or do you have other questions?

Then please do not hesitate to contact us. We know the logistical challenges of our customers and have been optimising their logistics chains for decades. No distance is too far or challenge too great. Are you ready to take your logistics chain to the next level? Then be sure to get in touch with us.

Stay updated

Follow us on our social media channels and stay updated on our logistics developments! We share stories about our logistics challenges, smart solutions, and about working at the logistics chain director. Hope to see you on our socials!