The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan


June 2014
Taking it Personally
OOCL Logistics achieves success through visibility and control
Custom Media

For OOCL Logistics Ltd., success is primarily a question of visibility.

“It is this commitment that makes us stand out from the competition,” said Takahisa Kashiyama, managing director of the company’s operations in Japan.
“We believe it is fundamental for our clients to be able to make the right business decisions, at the right time, based on full visibility and control,” Kashiyama said.

OOCL ensures this happens through technology—including its Real Time Tracking Service—that informs clients of the precise location of their products in the supply chain, permitting them to make informed decisions on the timing of deliveries, costs, and inventories.

“We believe that the pursuit of visibility on merchandise, costs, and problem-solving is essential for solving issues in supply-chain management and logistics,” he said.

And OOCL is unique in that it can leverage its global network to assist communication at the local level with suppliers.

With a parent company that can trace its roots back to the foundation of the Orient Overseas Line in Hong Kong in 1947, the logistics arm of the company was set up in 1979 and now has 92 offices in 30 countries around the world.

And in spite of that global reach, it insists on staying true to the simple philosophy of “We take it personally.”

“We are very optimistic as we believe the third-party logistics market has a lot of room to grow in Japan,” he said.

“Japanese companies can make better use of foreign-affiliated third-party logistics firms, like ours, to focus on their core business and facilitate their global business development,” he added. “And foreign companies can directly supply products to the market and expand, instead of selling through the traditional route of trading houses.”

OOCL Logistics delivers across the spectrum, from fashion and chemicals to home furnishings, industrial machinery, building materials, as well as any of a myriad other commodities and products.

In Japan, satisfied customers of its international and domestic supply-chain management—incorporating origin consolidation, freight-forwarding, customs clearance, warehousing services, and local distribution—include some of the biggest names in the global retail sector.

Kashiyama insists that OOCL Logistics is “Proud to be a part of our clients’ successes and expansion here in Japan.”

Operations commenced here 16 years ago, and the company now has more than 200 staff at offices in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as warehouse facilities in Osaka, Nagoya, and Kawasaki.

To meet growing demand, OOCL Logistics created its supply-chain warehousing business in 2007 with the ambition of increasing cost-effectiveness and flexibility for customers.

Previously, international companies found that individual distribution centers in different parts of the country were failing to communicate, thereby duplicating effort and reducing productivity—all of which served to increase costs and delay delivery times.

OOCL Logistics reexamined the system from the ground up and introduced a number of revolutionary procedures and system designs. With warehouse layouts optimized, collaborative planning—including that shared by top and on-site management—closer integration of distribution centers, and constant communication, the impact has been remarkable.

Efficiency, productivity, speed, and costs have all been enhanced; but the company is not content to rest on its laurels and is constantly seeking to inject new improvements and enhancements into its operations.

“Globally, our Hong Kong headquarters is proactively working to offer superior international and domestic logistics services and networks that enable our customers to operate the optimum supply chain processes and networks through our regional offices,” explained Kashiyama.

“And for foreign firms looking to increase their presence here, our ambitions are simple,” he added.

“With our experience and the diverse skills of our employees, we are confident that we can support our clients as they tackle the unique Japanese market,” he said.