Top 25 Global Logistics Providers: Nippon Express

We look into the operations, solutions and recent innovations from Nippon Express

With pharmaceutical companies putting out a greater number of products than ever, each with their own complex requirements; it is essential that third party logistics providers are set to meet these needs.

Based on the SJ Consulting Group Inc. list of the top leaders in the logistics sector, Pharma Logistics IQ takes a deep dive into Nippon Express who ranked No. 4 in the Top 25 list. Click here to see the whole list.


Key Information

Country: Japan

Revenue: $14.3 billion

Growth: 6.7%



Nippon Express is a global logistics company which has been operating for over 80 years. They aim to provide a one-stop business solution through their network of transport options across the world.

The company originally developed as a semi-government transport enterprise after consolidating many of the nation’s small-scale rail transport companies, and sex other competitors, with additional funding from the Japanese government. In 1950, Nippon Express was relaunched as a private company.

Nippon Express now employee over 32,000 employees across 700 locations. It operates across a variety of markets from air, freight and rail forwarding to packaging, labeling and storage for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and medical equipment.



Nippon Express offers a breadth of domestic and international transport solutions for the health and pharmaceuticals market, along with other notable solutions, such as:

  • Contact Center: their contact centers offers backup to sales offering inbound and outbound functions to develop and retain customers
  • Logistics Center: their logistics centers offer a multi-purpose base to cover a variety of customer meets, such as inventory and supply and support for international transport
  • eBizFlow: this service consolidates ordering date from e-commerce sites, phone and external ordering centers, issuing shipment and delivery instructions and supporting client sales promotions


Recent News from Nippon Express

One of the most interesting developments from Nippon Express came at the end of 2018, as they launched a test run of a long distance cargo train service between China’s inland area and Europe.

The first train left a station in Xian, Shaanxi Province on the 20th of December. The train, carrying 41 containers, is expected to take 18 days to cover a distance of 10,000 kilometers to Duisburg, Germany.

Nippon are pioneering cargo train routes from China to Europe, seeing it as a cost and time effective logistics solution

Nippon Express aim to start regularly scheduled cargo train services from March, 2019. They believe rail transport has the dual benefit of being a cost-effective alternative to air transport while also a time-effective alternative to freight transport.

The Chinese Government have been support of this type of initiative in their quest towards the Belt and Road Initiative, as they aim to create an economic zone linking China to Europe.

Nippon has received support from multiple governments in the Asia Pacific region, including China and Thailand

Earlier in the year, Nippon Express also launched new intermodal services connecting Japanese ports and airports with Europe via the Eurasian rail network in response to increasing requests from shippers.

Nippon Express has also had support from the government of Thailand who granted permits for their trucks to freely move goods overland between Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. Such permits remove the need to transship cargo, which can reduce the opportunities for interference and damage to goods while also improving transport times.


Related: Read our previous analysis of the Top 3 Logistics Providers: DHL, Kuehne & Nagel and DB Schenker