Japanese cargo carriers look to cultivate the growing international trade around Southeast Asia, expanding service within and from the region as domestic volume stalls.
Logistics company Sankyu plans a pilot program to combine apparel made in Myanmar and Thailand for shipment to Japan in containers, looking to launch the service as early as fiscal 2018. Container shipments typically involve goods from only one country because customs duties differ widely among nations.
Loading items from both countries will add to customs complications but help fill the containers and likely slash delivery time. Japan’s transport ministry will help fund the pilot.
Nisshin Transportation, a subsidiary of Hitachi Transport System, will debut regular shipments between Thailand and Myanmar as early as 2018, upgrading from its current on-demand service.
Apparel and food will travel together in the shipments, expected to run roughly weekly. Customers may include local businesses as well as Japanese companies, with the service delivering consumables for people in both Southeast Asian countries.
Nippon Express in October formed an office in Thailand to oversee operations for South Asia and Oceania. The company aims to design services based on its operations across the region as more shipments cross multiple borders.
The growing cross-border trade involving the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations totaled around $2.2 trillion in 2016, the International Monetary Fund says, roughly triple the level in 2000 and about 80% more than the value for Japan. More than one-fifth of the total for Southeast Asia covered deliveries within the region.
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Hino To establish a development and production base in Thailand
Once the factory begins operation in 2021, Hino will first start off by producing vehicles for the domestic Thai market
Japanese motor Company to push forward with locally led manufacturing of best-fit products to quickly respond to customer needs in close proximity
Under this new setup, Hino will be constructing a new center in Bang Bo, Samutprakarn Province to consolidate and strengthen our product planning, development, and production functions for best-fit products in ASEAN.
The site has an area of roughly 400,000 sqm. Construction is scheduled to begin in July 2019 with operations to begin in 2021.
The new center will consist of the new plant’s production area, and a development area centered around a test track. The total investment amount is expected to be roughly 11.5 billion yen.
Operations to begin in 2021
Once the factory begins operation in 2021, we will first start off by producing vehicles for the domestic Thai market, and expect to begin supplying ASEAN best-fit vehicles to other emerging markets by roughly 2024.
Hino Motors, Ltd. (HQ: Hino City, Tokyo, President & CEO: Yoshio Shimo; hereafter “Hino,”) and Hino Motors Manufacturing Thailand, Ltd. (HQ: Samrong, Samutprakarn Province, President: Somchai Pleankaew; hereafter “HMMT”), our manufacturing company in Thailand, in order to achieve our vision of “Corporate strategy 2025” and enable us to respond to customer needs in close proximity, will be taking steps in Thailand, one of our key centers of operation, to accelerate our efforts to strengthen our business foundation in ASEAN.
By newly appointed Mr. Somchai Pleankaew, who has an exceptional career background with Hino, to president of HMMT, we will be creating an organizational setup that will enable us to drive our business in a locally led manner.
Mr. Somchai Pleankaew, who assumed the office of president of HMMT as of Feb 1 has this to say:
HMMT will put all of our effort to make this project successful in order to enable the growth of our company. Our aim is to serve all customers to their greatest satisfaction by providing the best-fit products and total support customized for each vehicle.
In addition, as a center of Monozukuri, including product planning, development, and production, as well as Total Support in ASEAN, Hino Thailand will collaborate and go forward with Hino in ASEAN in order to grow and strengthen together to support the growth of our customers’ businesses in the ASEAN region.
The Hino Group will be reforming its business structure to achieve sustainable growth leading up to 2025. We position Thailand as one of our key markets for sales in the ASEAN region, our second pillar after the Japanese market. The country is also one of our key business centers and a driver of Monozukuri and Total Support within the region.
The new center to be constructed will consolidate and strengthen our product planning, development, and production functions in Thailand.
New center overview
|Name||Suvarnabhumi Monozukuri Center|
|Location||Bang Bo, Samutprakarn Province|
|Site area||400,000 sqm|
|Functions||Product planning, development, and production of Hino vehicles|
|Products produced||Light- and medium-duty trucks and buses|
|Operation startup date||Scheduled for 2021|
|Employees||Approx. 1,300 (at the time of operation startup)|
As a “Monozukuri Center” it will be designed with the capability to commercialize and supply ASEAN best-fit products locally and consistently. In addition to increased coordination between different functions, we will be taking steps in product development to push forward with localization of product development by upgrading organizational setups and constructing a new test track so that we will be able to respond to customer needs quickly and accurately at close customer proximity. In the area of production, the production functions that are currently distributed across existing plants in Thailand will be consolidated at the new center to improve production efficiency.
Furthermore, know-how from the Koga Plant―our global mother plant―will be actively incorporated into the plant to create a system that will enable us to deliver competitive products to our customers in a timely fashion.
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