Case Study

JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

Shipping the onboard lab for the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo, a part of the International Space Station, from Japan to the US

We shipped the onboard lab for the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo, part of the International Space Station, from Japan to the U.S. for the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2008.


  1. 1There were no replacements
  2. 2Precision item sensitive to impacts and changes in temperature and humidity
  3. 3Extremely large when including transport vessel at 23 tons, 14 meters long and 5.5 meters tall and wide, meaning it cannot be transported like normal on a road

Proposed services

  1. 1Preparations took a year, including driving tests and rigorous testing of transport routes
    • Creating a special wagon to transport the onboard lab
    • Prior negotiations with related government agencies
    • Obtaining transport permits and licenses
    • Arranging sea-based and land-based security
    • Removal of traffic lights and other aerial obstructions
  2. 2Measuring and recording impact speeds, temperature, and humidity
  3. 3 Meeting with employees throughout the entire process from the departure point in Japan to the delivery location in the US


The lab was delivered without issue and was launched in 2008.

  • Ground transport at a low speed of 5 to 10 km/h

    To be able to operate safely in regards to traffic lights, pedestrian bridges, and other obstructions, we adjusted the height of the vehicle with special equipment, shaved off road surfaces, and took other measures.

Provided by JAXA
  • Barge transport using canals

    We used canals when ground transport was not possible.
    We adjusted the height from the surface of the water with weights to pass through lock gates.

  • Loading onto ocean-going vessels

    Supervisors travelled along during marine transport.

Provided by JAXA
  • Delivered to the NASA Kennedy Space Center by truck and trailer
Provided by JAXA
JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
Carries out basic research, development and use in the aerospace field


About logistics in Japan
Reception hours9:00-12:00 13:00-17:00
Daily, excluding weekends, national holidays, and end-of-year and New Year holidays (from December 30 to January 4)