There is a minimum requirement for both service by air and service by sea. For air shipments, the minimum is 45kg and for sea shipments it is one cubic meter. The question, then, is “how can you send small shipments at reasonable rates even if you are shipping a small amount?” Here are some shipping methods other than normal freight services. Whether you are shipping from Japan or from any other part of the world, there are only a few shipping methods available.
1)Ship by air
As we mentioned in a few places on this website, the minimum weight for air shipments is 45kg. The reason why 45kg is the minimum weight is because airlines offer discounted rates for shipments over 45kg. Shipments under the 45kg can still be shipped either as 45kgs or by paying the so-called IATA tariff rate (plus our handling fee, fuel surcharge, security surcharge, etc.). For example, if our rate to a certain destination is Y950 per kg for over 45kg, there is usually a rate available at Y2,500 to Y3,000 per kg for under 45kgs to the same destination. If you are shipping, say, only a package of 10kg (for example, something you are not able to send through Japan Post because of its size) and the rate to your destination under 45kg is Y3,000 per kg, our charge will be Y3,000 x 10 + 5,900 = Y35,900. If the rate for over 45kg is Y950 and if it is shipped as 45kg, the calculation will be Y950 x 45 + 5900 = Y48,650 and it will be less expensive to send by paying the rate for under 45kg. However, if the weight is, say, 25kg, it will be less expensive to ship as 45kg. (Note that whether the weight is over or under 45kg, volumetric weight will be taken into consideration as well in calculation of the airfreight charges.)
2) Ship by courier service such as DHL or FedEx
For small shipments, courier services can be less expensive. In addition, they are shipped door to door. One thing you need to be careful about, however, is that charges for shipments with low weight density may be considerably more expensive because courier companies use the formula of Length x Width x Height ÷ 5,000, while airlines use the formula of Length x Width x Height ÷ 6,000.
3) Send through Japan Post
Post office is a recommended method of sending things if you are sending only a small amount, such as when you ship less than several packages.
Note that in any case, sufficient packing is a matter of common sense. Ensure that you place all items in sturdy cardboard boxes even if they are small shipments.