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2024 Problem Seen Hitting Regional Logistics Sectors Hard

2024 Problem Seen Hitting Regional Logistics Sectors Hard

   Tokyo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Japanese regions far away from the Tokyo metropolitan area and other urban districts will likely be hit particularly hard by the so-called 2024 problem, or possible logistics service disruptions reflecting shortages of truck drivers due to new overtime regulations starting in April.
   "Our agricultural, forestry and fisheries products will lose competitiveness because of rising transport costs," Aomori Governor Soichiro Miyashita said in a speech in the city of Aomori, the capital of the northeastern prefecture, on March 22, expressing a sense of impending crisis over the problem.
   As part of work style reforms in the nation, overtime for truck drivers will be capped at 960 hours a year from the beginning of April under the revised labor standards law, and the daily maximum time spent on duty by truck drivers will be reduced to 15 hours from 16 hours.
   The new rules are expected to reduce the distance a driver can travel in a day, increase the number of days needed to transport goods and boost personnel costs. The impacts will be greater for cargo transport to distant places.
    According to a recent survey by the Aomori Trucking Association, about 20 pct of trucking companies in the prefecture have drivers who currently exceed the upcoming overtime cap. The proportion was higher, at about 50 pct, among companies offering long-distance transport services.

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