JR East conducts trial of Shinkansen cargo transport

East Japan Railway has carried out a test run to see whether Shinkansen bullet trains can effectively transport large amounts of cargo. The trains are considered a possible solution to the acute truck driver shortage affecting shipping networks across Japan.

A Shinkansen loaded with 750 crates of goods left Niigata City in Central Japan on Thursday morning. It arrived in Tokyo at around noon.

The goods included local produce, such as edamame soybeans. The crates were then transported by truck to supermarkets and other destinations in the Tokyo area.

"Shinkansen bullet trains are fast, punctual, and reliable in any weather conditions," said Tsutsumiguchi Takako from JR East. "We want to take advantage of these strengths."

The train operator plans to study the results and figure out the best way to bring the system into commercial use.