Japanese companies are running out of time to prepare for the possibility of a severe shortage of truck drivers this year. Starting in April, new regulations will tighten the rules on truckers' overtime.
NHK surveyed 100 major firms to check on preparations. It shows that nearly 80 of them have measures in the works or in place to deal with the rule changes.
The survey was carried out in December and January. Sixty-six firms said they've already adopted measures to deal with the problem, while 13 said they plan to do so.
Six said they have no such plans. Fifteen did not respond.
Many of the companies are focusing on improving logistics efficiency. Fifty-five said they had reviewed shipping routes and schedules. Thirty-eight cited joint transportation with other firms.
Among other measures, thirty-seven plan to switch to using marine, railroad and air transportation, while 20 were opting to pass on the higher logistics costs to their products and services.