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Rakuten launches express delivery

Japan’s leading eCommerce portal Rakuten has launched Rakubin – a new rapid delivery service which promises goods in as little as 20 minutes – 2 hours a day.

The new service has made its debut in the Tokyo suburbs of Shibuya, Setagaya, Minato and Meguro. It applies to a limited range of 450 items – largely convenience or drug-store core lines, such as noodles, cafe products, confectionery and coffee; detergent, toilet paper and diapers.

In the Rakubin app, users can check the estimated time of delivery before placing their order.

After the order has been completed, a delivery interval of 15 minutes will be displayed, allowing users to effectively make use of the time before the arrival of the order. The delivery cost for one order is 390 yen (including tax) when users receive the goods beside the delivery vehicle at the specified location, and 770 yen (including tax) when the goods are delivered directly to users by a member of the delivery staff.

Fulfilment is undertaken by a fleet of delivery vans which carry stock of the items and circle the areas, awaiting despatch to delivery addresses.

Rakuten says it will expand the service to include a longer list of products, and a broader geographical area once the concept is bedded down and refined.

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