TOKYO, March 8, 2013 – Rakuten Inc. announced today that it has entered a capital and business tie-up with Ecohai Co., Ltd., a provider of ecological and economical parcel delivery services in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. The agreement will involve Rakuten acquiring a 15% stake in Ecohai, and the two companies will work together for Rakuten’s delivery network in Tokyo.
Rakuten established its subsidiary Rakuten Logistics, Inc. in 2010 to strengthen its logistics support of merchants on Rakuten Ichiba, Japan’s largest Internet shopping mall, including distribution, inventory management and shipping. Rakuten Logistics is currently working to develop an optimized nationwide logistics network in Japan for Rakuten’s B2B2C marketplace. This network will provide an even wider range of logistics solutions to merchants on Rakuten Ichiba, which will help to alleviate logistics bottlenecks and enable each merchant to focus on sales promotion activities, expanding overall business in the process.
In 2011, Rakuten Logistics opened its first distribution center, the Rakuten Fulfillment Center (RFC), in Ichikawa-Shiohama, Chiba Prefecture. In August 2012, Rakuten Logistics began offering Rakuten Ichiba Merchants “Rakuten Super Logistics,” which are integrated fulfillment service solutions, incoming/outgoing inventory management, storage, packaging, delivery, customer service and various other value added services. Later, in November 2012, Rakuten announced that it had acquired a 100% stake in Alpha Direct Services, a major French logistics provider. Additionally, Rakuten Mart, Inc. launched a food delivery service called Rakuten Mart in July 2012. The Rakuten Group is working with several other parcel delivery companies to develop a proprietary delivery network for this customer service focused service.
Ecohai is an ecological and economic parcel delivery service provider offering low-cost delivery services with a reduced carbon and other greenhouse gases footprint. The company makes efforts to offset carbon emissions through the use of “people-power,” including bicycle-drawn carts, and electric vehicles to make deliveries. Ecohai maintains a network of more than 30 delivery bases in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka and is able to provide next-day deliveries between these major urban areas. The company has seen consistent strong growth since its founding in 2007, and today has some 100,000 corporate clients and handles more than one million parcels each month.
In conjunction with Rakuten’s investment in Ecohai, the first collaborative project involves strengthening Rakuten Mart’s delivery system in Tokyo. Additionally, Rakuten plans on working with Ecohai as part of its business collection service, which is one of its strongholds, as well as examining partnerships in other major urban areas where Ecohai operates. This represents Rakuten’s commitment to continue working toward its goal of developing a nationwide logistics network through partnerships and tie-ups and with a wide range of logistics providers.
Representative Director and President of Rakuten Logistics, Hiroshi Etani, has been appointed as an External Director of Ecohai.
Company name: Ecohai Co., Ltd.
Head office address: 3F Akasaka Kyowa Bldg., 1-6-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan
Representative Director & President
Paid-in capital: 1,376,959,600 yen
Business description: Parcel delivery services in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka
Employees: 534 (including part-time workers)
Corporate website: http://www.ecohai.co.jp/