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We have enhanced medical DCs across the country and provide storage and shipping services specialized in pharmaceutical logistics. In order to enhance intangible aspects of GDP, we are working to strengthen quality assurance system in the pharmaceutical logistics. For example, we set up an organization dedicated to promoting GDP, which is developing a quality management system for GDP management and also conducting verification experiments such as for the next-generation temperature sensor to monitor temperature during transportation. In FY2020, East Japan II Medical DC, a cutting-edge medical DC, began operation in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture, to expand the scope of our services. We also have a fuel procurement scheme and dedicated drivers familiar with characteristics, etc. of medicines as part of the BCP system to sustain supply chain in case of an emergency. We will continue to contribute to maintaining high quality pharmaceutical logistics by working on proper management of increasingly complex distribution channels.
Area of medical DCs: About 280,000 square meters (As of March 31, 2021)
Of these, standard equipment for distribution centers that conform to GDP
*GDP (Good Distribution Practice): "Appropriate distribution standard for medical supply" to ensure strict quality control to prevent quality deterioration during transportation and storage.
Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, is facing issues such as traffic jam and air pollution due to an increase in cars and motorcycles associated with the country's economic development and fast-growing population. To cope with these issues, the Vietnamese government, with the cooperation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), developed a plan for infrastructure development aimed at mitigating traffic jam and launched the construction of the country's first underground rail system in 2012. Under such circumstance, HTS was engaged in the one-stop transportation covering from shipment of 51 railway cars that have been manufactured in Kasado Works, Hitachi, Ltd. since 2020 to ocean transportation and delivery to the local site.
These railway cars will be used for an approx. 19.7 kilometer-long line connecting 14 stations from the center of Ho Chi Minh City to Suoi Tien in the eastern area of the city. As an expert of rail transportation, we have developed a safe and timely transport plan and successfully delivered railway cars for one set of three-car train in collaboration with Hitachi, Ltd. in FY2020. The project is still underway. Vietnam's first subway system will not only enhance the convenience of Ho Chi Minh City in the future and support further economic development, but it also symbolizes the friendship between Japan and Vietnam as the two countries work together to face the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a solutions provider, the HTS Group will continue to provide flexible, one-of-a-kind services that always meet the needs of customers and contribute to the development of local social infrastructure to support the lives of people and the development of society around the world.
The HTS Group is promoting the implementation of new technologies and labor saving technologies at logistics sites in order to respond to social issues such as labor shortages, and is promoting automation and labor saving in site operations. By introducing new technologies and labor-saving technologies to logistics sites, we will reduce the burden on workers and establish a safe, stable and sustainable logistics management system.
|Main equipment introduced in FY2020
We are working to improve operational productivity by temporarily storing piece shipment items put in trays in rotary piece sorters and automatically discharging them in delivery destinations units. We have been promoting the installation since FY2018, and this is currently installed at four sites.
Medical DC (A)
Apparel DC (B)
Apparel DC (C)
Apparel DC (D)
Interoperability with mobile pallet racks, vertical conveyors, and automated warehouses to automate pallet cargo handling (warehousing/shipping) and transportation, including at night. We have been promoting the installation since FY2018, and this is currently installed at three sites.
Medical DC (A)
Medical DC (E)
Daily Commodities DC (F)
Promoting labor saving in simple work by replacing the manual picking and placing process with piece picking robots with specifications according to the product characteristics. We have been promoting the installation since FY2019, and this is currently introduced at two sites.
Apparel DC (C)
Medical DC (A)
Recently, introducing RFID technology which is near field communication is expected to become a solution for product management in the retail industry, but its high cost is now preventing it from spreading. HTS has continued to study toward the introduction of the RFID technology to logistics site since FY2017, and in FY2020, we successfully achieved it by introducing the RFID technology to the logistics services for customers that provide the use/experience-type services including rental, subscription, and sharing.
RFID technology can be used to manage the status of individual items such as receiving/shipping, return or maintenance of rental products, etc. solving issues such as complicated management and timely data visualization, which contributes to establishing a new consumption cycle of the cyclical use of products and improving convenience of providers and users of rental/subscription services.
*RFID (Radio Frequency Identification): Contactless automatic recognition technology that reads information via radio waves
Established a pay-per-use platform center where multiple customers share assets (automation/labor-saving equipment), systems (information systems), spaces (storage/workspace) and manpower (administrators/workers) in a logistics center.
In order to deal with the labor shortage that is currently a major social issue, in addition to labor-saving equipment such as AGV picking systems and automatic boxing machines, we have developed further labor saving systems such as product inspection by image recognition and automatic loading of packing cushioning materials, to minimize the man-hours required for manual work processing.
In September 2019, we opened the EC Platform Center in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture. At this Center, we have realized a comfortable workplace environment in which the burden on workers is reduced by introducing labor-saving equipment, as well as stable work quality in operations standardized by automation. In addition, by pursuing convenience together with collaborative partners, we are able to implement the necessary functions around the logistics area.
SSCV is a transport digital platform that solves issues in the transport business from "viewpoints of logistics company + IoT technology", and it consists of the following three solutions.
SSCV will contribute to the development of logistics as social infrastructure by solving the problems faced by transporters and supporting their business growth. It will also contribute to society by realizing sustainable logistics.
In FY2020, we enhanced the five service lineups, such as a warning function for drivers while driving and a function to visualize data during operation. In FY2021 as well, we will continue to work on enhancing functions and improving accuracy.
Utilizing the functions of SSCV-Safety will lead to the following realizations.
By the end of March 2020, we have introduced it to approximately 1,300 Group company vehicles*.
The number of near-miss incidents in the Group has decreased by 80% in about one year after the introduction of SSCV-Safety, leading to a reduction in the number of accidents. In the future, we will work to expand the scope of provision of SSCV-Safety to partner transport companies.
*As of March 2021, SSCV-Smart has been installed on all vehicles the HTS owns in Japan.
In order to contribute not only to safety aspects, but also to a more convenient society, we have been developing solutions with various functions, such as improving the efficiency of the transportation business as a whole and supporting profit improvement.
SSCV-Smart is an online system that connects cargo owners and transporters via the Internet. It contributes to business efficiency and profit improvement, as the system allows for centralized management of all processes from acquiring transportation projects to vehicle assignment, issuing driving instructions, and billing. In FY2020, we began full-scale deployment of the system at transport sites and introduced it at one transport center of Hitachi Transport System East Japan Co., Ltd. and eight regional transport partners.
The HTS Group is working on establishing volume forecasting technology using AI and developing new solutions utilizing forecasting technology in order to become a global supply chain solutions provider and improve operational efficiency.
The HTS Group is working on establishing volume forecasting technology using AI and developing new solutions utilizing forecasting technology in order to become a global supply chain solutions provider and improve operational efficiency .
In FY2020, we improved the precision of the volume forecasting tool which was designed and tested in FY2019 and successfully introduced it in 20 logistics sites.
|No. of cases using volume forecasting system |
(as of March 31, 2021, cumulative)
We aim at contributing to supply-chain optimization with the calculation of standard inventory and development of order plans suitable for the customer's supply chain.
In FY2020, we tested an inventory/supply optimization solution at the actual logistics site under the joint development with a customer and verified an improvement in storage and transportation efficiency.
We have been conducting research with the aim of contributing to the smoothness of our customers' supply chains, such as creation of a mechanism to speed up the transportation and delivery of products and the payment of compensation associated with them using blockchain*.
In FY2020, we completed a proof of concept to improve the accuracy of expediting transportation/delivery payments, and also performed hypothesis verification related to trade operations.
* Blockchain: A ledger that is managed digitally. Also known as "distributed ledger technology."
We are fostering data scientists who use data to identify and solve issues of customers' supply chain. In FY2020, 16 people took the training course.
|Number of attendees of data scientist training course|
(as of March 31, 2021, cumulative)