Optimizing Logistics in a New Era

By Axel Regnet

Strategies for Japan’s trucking industry after new overtime regulations

Overtime regulations shake up Japan’s logistics: Are companies prepared?

Efficient logistics are the lifeblood of a thriving economy. In Japan, however, new regulations aimed at improving working conditions for truck drivers, effective April 2024, present potential challenges for the transportation sector. These regulations, including the Act on the Promotion of Work Style Reform and the revised Notice of Improvement Standards, aim to significantly reduce working hours. While this is a positive step for driver well-being, it can lead to disruptions in delivery schedules and potentially raise costs for logistics companies.

The challenge: Balancing efficiency and compliance

The new regulations mandate shorter working hours for truck drivers, posing a significant challenge for logistics companies already facing driver shortages. Additionally, strict penalties for non-compliance necessitate adherence to the new regulations. This situation demands a strategic approach that balances compliance with operational efficiency and cost control.

Calculated avg. cost development for urban and long distances
Source: Siemens Digital Logistics GmbH – Consulting Division, based on proprietary Digital Twin simulations and actual market data

Optimizing the supply chain: A digital twin approach

Siemens Digital Logistics offers a comprehensive solution that leverages the power of a digital twin and advanced supply chain optimization software. This approach allows companies to:

  • Simulate Scenarios: Explore the impact of the new regulations on your specific operations using real market data. By creating a digital twin of your pre-regulation logistics network (“Before April 2024”), you can compare different scenarios, such as a “do nothing” approach and an optimized approach.
  • Identify Opportunities: With the digital twin, you can pinpoint areas for improvement and implement targeted measures like:
    • Route Optimization: Utilize advanced algorithms to find the most efficient delivery routes, minimizing travel time and fuel consumption.
    • Consolidated Deliveries: Group daily orders for the same customer into one delivery, reducing trips and costs.
    • Customer Reassignment: Allocate customers to the nearest or most suitable warehouse to streamline distribution and shorten delivery times.
    • Efficient Idle Times: Utilize a digital logistics platform to streamline administrative tasks and minimize driver downtime, improving overall efficiency.
    • Extended Delivery Windows: Negotiate more flexible delivery windows with customers to enhance route planning flexibility.

Potential cost savings and strategies

Our analysis reveals a range of cost-saving opportunities tailored to specific sectors, shipment structures (small, medium, large), delivery frequencies (high, low), and distances (urban, intermediate, long-range). By implementing a combination of these measures, the impact of the new regulations on transport costs can be significantly reduced.

Collaboration: Building efficiency with stakeholders

Close collaboration with customers and suppliers is key to navigating the new regulations effectively. This can involve:

  • Negotiating Flexible Delivery Schedules: Working with customers to establish flexible delivery windows can enhance route planning and optimize delivery times.
  • Supplier Communication: Communicating proactively with suppliers regarding changes in delivery schedules ensures smooth operation and avoids disruptions.

Siemens Digital Logistics: Your partner in optimizing your supply chain

At Siemens Digital Logistics, we understand the challenges and opportunities presented by the new regulations in Japan. Our expertise in supply chain optimization software and digital twin technology can help you navigate these changes and achieve operational excellence. We offer a data-driven approach that allows you to:

  • Mitigate Cost Increases: Identify and implement strategies to minimize cost increases resulting from the new regulations.
  • Enhance Delivery Performance: Optimize routes and schedules to ensure timely deliveries while complying with regulations.
  • Increase Operational Efficiency: Reduce idle times and streamline processes through advanced technological solutions.
Supply Chain Design mitigates the cost increase.Cost ranges adapt to long-haul and urban transport mixes in supply chains. Logistics in Japan
Source: Siemens Digital Logistics GmbH – Consulting Division, based on proprietary Digital Twin simulations and actual market data


The new regulations for truck drivers in Japan represent a significant shift in the logistics landscape. However, by embracing a digital-first approach and fostering collaboration with stakeholders, logistics companies can navigate these changes with ease. Siemens Digital Logistics is here to help you optimize your supply chain, ensure compliance, and achieve long-term success.

Ready to learn more? Contact Siemens Digital Logistics today to discuss how our solutions can help your business thrive in the face of these new regulations. Learn more about our Consulting services.

More information

Contact us (select “Digital Logistics” as Product)

The Experts

Uwe Wuttke, Head of Consulting Siemens Digital Logistics
Uwe Wuttke
Head of Consulting | Siemens Digital Logistics
Christian Busch
Senior Consultant
Siemens Digital Logistics
Christian Busch
Senior Consultant | Siemens Digital Logistics

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at