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Environmental Measures for Transportation Optimization

With the goal of "transportation with a low environmental burden," we are promoting efforts to optimize transportation such as reducing the number of trips and utilizing transportation means other than trucks.

Modal Shift Promotion

Modal Shift refers to using alternative means of freighting from trucks to railway or marine transport. In addition to saving energy and relieving traffic congestion, this also reduces environmental burdens. For example, it is said that when transporting a freight of 1t for 1km, the amount of CO2 emission from a truck is six times more than that of railways and four times more than that of marine transport. The railways and marine transport can save energy by transporting a large amount of freight at one time, hence improving transport efficiency.
At Sagawa Express, we are increasingly adopting multifaceted transportation combinations, including truck, railway, and marine transport.

Courier transportation through Super Rail Cargo

In order to provide stable transportation service and reduce CO2 emissions during transport, in 2004 Sagawa Express co-developed Super Rail Cargo with JR Freight Railway Company. Super Rail Cargo is the result of a trial experiment by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Sagawa Express charters entire trains for use in Tokyo - Osaka courier transportation, a route which is central to the Japanese economy. A 16-car train goes to and from Tokyo - Osaka every night, with a round-trip cargo capacity equivalent to 56 10-ton trucks.
Presently, Super Rail Cargo accounts for approximately 10% of our total transportation volume between Tokyo and Osaka. It has directly resulted in a large decrease in CO2 emissions and other reductions in our environmental impact.

Super Rail Cargo
Special container truck for Super Rail Cargo
Super Rail Cargo Vehicle Data
Max. speed 130km/h
Model M250 system
Number of coaches 16 coaches (4 motored + 12 trailed vehicles)
Route Tokyo Cargo Terminal Station (Tokyo) - Ajikawaguchi Station (Osaka)
Time required: 6 hours 12 minutes

Further spread of Modal Shift, Earth-friendly transportation method

Other than Super Rail Cargo, we are making use of railways and marine transport as much as possible and promoting the reduction of truck transport. Currently implemented in more than 50 sections, this allows us to reduce environmental load, as well as lowering the risk of traffic accidents and sorting out labor difficulties caused by long distance drives. Generally, our effort on Modal Shift significantly paid off in FY 2010.

■Effect of Modal Shift (FY 2010)
  Reduction of
truck transport
(in number of
10t trucks)
Reduction of
CO2 emissions
(t-CO2)
Super Rail Cargo 16,211 9,351
Railways (other than Super Rail Cargo) 30,587 40,107
Marine (ferry) 43,984 17,018
Total 90,782 66,476
  • * Source: Calculation according to "Carbon Dioxide Emission Basic Unit of Freight Transport" (2008) by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
  • * The amounts of reduction above are the calculated value of environmental load that would generated by trucks assuming that we had not used Modal Shift. Therefore, these are not the actual amount of reduction in FY 2010.

■Modal Shift achievements (FY 2010)
Super Rail Cargo
Usage area Total number of containers
Ajikawaguchi Tokyo Terminal 8,036
Tokyo Terminal Ajikawaguchi 8,175
Total 16,211
Railways(Other Super Rail Cargo)
Usage area Total number of containers
Fukuoka Terminal Tokyo Terminal 5,462
Nagoya Terminal Sapporo Terminal 3,281
Sumidagawa Sapporo Terminal 17,161

Tokyo Terminal
Fukuoka Terminal 17,062
Kitakyushu Terminal 4,295
Other Terminals 13,259
Total 60,520
Marine (ferry)
Usage area Total number
Tsuruga Port Tomakomai-higashi Port 4,119
Aomori Port Hakodate Port 7,688
Hachinohe Port Tomakomai Port 8,245
Tomakomai Port Hachinohe Port 7,614
Hakodate Port Aomori Port 3,739
Other Terminals 8,007
Total 39,412

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