Japan is a country with many different facets and passions, but it is also one of the world’s birthplaces of e-commerce, with a mature market and well-defined trends. Japanese consumers know their mind: they prefer to have a large selection of goods, fast and accurate deliveries and, lastly, high quality packaging.
Sitma believes it can provide a tangible solution to these needs. This is why, at the end of summer 2022, it will be at Logis Tech Tokyo: a worthy conclusion to a very busy trade fair season. Sitma already took part in the Japanese trade fair in the past, though for the first time it will now display a machine in an operational configuration: the E-Wrap in the paper packaging version.
On the one hand, the September event confirms Sitma’s support for in-person trade fairs and, on the other hand its commitment to the Japanese market. It already operates in it through its Tokyo branch, which has been the focal point of its business strategies for over 30 years. It could not have been otherwise, since this area is a reference for the whole of the Far East, especially for the world of e-commerce logistics, which has undergone substantial growth in recent years.
Indeed, the value of the Japanese market has more than doubled in less than 10 years, going from ¥8.46 trillion in 2011 to ¥19.28 trillion in 2020 (over US$140 billion). It is now the fourth-largest market in the world after the United States, China and the UK. Apart from its economic value, the Japanese e-commerce market is one of the most crowded and challenging: indeed there are thousands of companies involved in the processes of buying, selling, sorting and delivering goods.
There is a widespread supply chain that works to support a very broad selection of products, ranging from interior design items to electronic devices, with differentiated purchases according to gender and age. However, data relating to purchasing habits is somewhat surprising. For example, unlike other areas of the world the demand for books is one of the predominant items and applies to both women and men (with 58% of the former resorting to online purchases and 55% of the latter).
Then come electronic devices, which are mainly purchased by men: 61% do so online, investing an average of ¥1,200 per month. In third place come fashion and clothing, which are instead mostly chosen by women: 70% of them order them online, investing around ¥1,000 every month. Such a demand for products significantly increases the level of skills required of companies working to support sorting and delivery hubs, both in terms of technology and the ability to generate efficiency.
In short, the challenge is huge. Along with the presence of numerous operators and the extensive supply of goods, the specific logic governing the market must be considered as well. Japanese society is indeed permeated by an ethical and working culture that minimises downtime. People’s lives are often organised according to “just-in-time” principles and the Japanese expect the same precision when placing orders online: a factor that further raises the bar of competition.
On a technological level, this means not only being able to have fast and high-performance machines but, for example, equally efficient weighing and tracking systems that work in sync with software packages to manage big data.
Paper E-Wrap: Western style and oriental spirit
Why did Sitma choose to take the E-Wrap to Logis Tech Tokyo? Because it is easy to use, though it brings huge benefits in terms of packaging speed, precision and quality of work. Plus, Japan is a rich country with consumers who, as in the most developed markets, are particularly attentive to the latest sustainability trends.
Sitma says the Paper E-Wrap is a perfectly tailored solution for the market from this point of view too, as it is a machine with a strong focus on sustainability. Indeed, it can pack according to an approach that takes into account the three dimensions of the object, following its volumes and limiting the use of wrapping material. The packaging also takes place by using heat-sealable paper, a material that ensures a very low environmental impact.
There is one last aspect that makes the Paper E-Wrap a winner: as mentioned, the Japanese market is largely based on the purchase and sale of small or medium-sized objects such as books, technological devices, video games and clothes. All these objects can be effectively packaged by means of heat-sealable paper, allowing for tailor-made packages that can withstand a weight of up to 2kg. These characteristics have already decreed the success of the Paper E-Wrap at European trade fairs Ipack-IMA and LogiMAT. The E-Wrap is now ready to conquer Japan as well.
Sitma will be at the next edition of Logis Tech Tokyo at stand 102 – Hall 3 from 13 to 16 September 2022.