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Yamato launches cross-border trucking, relocation services

Japan’s largest package delivery company has set up a US$500,000 joint venture in Myanmar to specialise in Thai-Myanmar cross-border trade and small-cargo delivery for households and businesses.

Yamato Group through its Singapore-based subsidiary formed a joint venture (JV) with Myanmar firm Aye International Group Co (AIG) last December. Total capital for Yamato Global Logistics Myanmar Co (Yamato Myanmar) is US$500,000, with Yamato owning 80 percent of the shares and AIG taking the remaining 20pc.

Right now, the services offered in Myanmar include import/ export forwarding and cross-border truck transport from other Asian countries. Inland logistics service and courier service are in the pipeline “very soon”, according to Yamato’s President Masaki Yamauchi. Yohei Kubo, managing director of Yamato Myanmar, added that the courier service will allow products to be transported to retail shops and automobile spare parts to be distributed, as well as facilitating e-commerce.

The Tokyo-headquartered delivery giant held the opening ceremony of their Myanmar business unit in Yangon’s Melia Hotel last month. Mr Yamauchi highlighted in his keynote speech that, as the company is approaching its centenary in 2019, they are looking for new markets to expand their business beyond Japan. ASEAN is a priority market and Yamato already has a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. Myanmar is the sixth country it enters.

Mr Kubo explained that they will focus on international forwarding, “overseas moving services” and cross-border logistics. “The core competence of Yamato Group is the fast transport of goods and products to all around the world and to the whole ASEAN. Therefore, there should be companies around the globe which will combine export services and tax clearance service,” he said. In addition, with more Japanese investments flowing into the country, Yamato targets the growing need for employees and businesses to manage their relocation, involving the transport of household and work items.

Mr Kubo added that, for the cross-border transport service, from Thailand to Yangon will take three days while Shanghai to Yangon will take ten days.

By expanding the international forwarding service and relocation service in individual Southeast Asian economies, the group has established a cross-border network for exports to the whole of ASEAN, Mr Yamauchi went on. The Japanese giant acquired Malaysian logistics firm OTL in 2016 and now runs a cross-border less-than-truckload (LTL) service between ASEAN and China, integrating OTL’s line haul trucking network of 6,000km from Singapore to China.

“In addition, we will connect Myanmar with the cross-border network we established in ASEAN and provide full services in this country in the future,” Mr Yamauchi remarked. Because of Myanmar’s “strategic geographical location”, the country is increasingly drawn into the regional supply chain, particularly Thailand’s industrialisation. As such, cross-border logistics is set to have a significant rise in demand.

Small-cargo delivery

Small-cargo delivery is another core service for Yamato. Since 2010, the company has started developing a last-mile small-parcel delivery service in the region (called TA-Q-BIN) in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Katsuhiko Umetsu, chair of Yamato Global Logistics Japan Co (part of Yamato Group), spoke to The Myanmar Times last year at length about the future of e-commerce industry and the challenges facing cross-border logistics in the region.

In 2016, Yamato acquired a strategic stake in GD Express in Malaysia and subsequently formed a JV with Bangkok-based Siam Cement Group to strengthen the service coverage in Thailand. In January, it announced the launch of a Japanese product-specific store in Tokyu Department Store, located in Bangkok’s Paradise Park.

The delivery giant earlier emphasised that ASEAN’s trade and logistics integration is a key factor behind its Myanmar entry. With the ASEAN Economic Community set in motion in 2015, a regional cross-border network is developing and it is deemed necessary to have a base in Myanmar to ride on the cross-border logistics market.

Competition in Myanmar’s logistics sector is heating up.

Earlier this year, Thilawa SEZ’s Daizen Myanmar started providing bonded warehouse and freezone warehouse services to both domestic and foreign companies. The warehouse operator will be branching out to Myawaddy within the next few months. Similar to Yamato, Daizen seeks to tap into the Thai-Myanmar cross-border trade.

Japanese logistics firm Yusen Logistics is also present in Thilawa SEZ.

Source : Myanmar Times

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