NIPPON EXPRESS: DRIVING FORWARD AUTOMOTIVE LOGISTICS Vol.1
- ― Choreographed complexity
The supply chains for the production of cars are a complex choreography spanning the world.
Manufacturing one vehicle may require the assembly of as many as 30,000 parts procured from dozens of different suppliers within and across multiple borders. Using ships, planes, trains, and trucks, deliveries are made just-in-time to ensure production lines keep operating 24/7. And the scale of all this is vast. In 2018, the global automotive industry generated nearly 8 per cent - or 1.5 trillion USD - of all international trade in goods.
This dizzying dance of automotive logistics now faces more complications.
The shift to autonomous and electric vehicles (EVs) is bringing in new trade flows, suppliers, and delivery requirements. Vehicle sales in mature markets decelerate as they hit “peak car”. Production costs are rising to meet tightening emission regulations. And unexpected geopolitical tensions are triggering trade disputes and lifting tariffs. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast doubt on the wisdom of supply chains involving just-in-time procurements across multiple borders.
- ― A mission to optimise automotive logistics
In the past two decades, the Japanese company has steadily expanded in this domain, first by serving Japanese automakers domestically and then following them overseas as production globalised.
Today, as Asia’s largest automotive logistics solution provider, Nippon Express services 16 Japanese and Western automakers and over 1,000 OEM suppliers. The company provides, among other things, procurement, inventory, and Just-In-Time (JIT) delivery solutions with strategically placed warehouses near automotive plants in Asia, North America, Mexico, and Europe. In recent years, its share of revenues from non-Japanese automotive makers has also grown, particularly in Europe.
- “Our strength comes from our global network and longstanding relationships with multiple automakers giving us know-how about their unique requirements,” says Yutaka Nagai, Managing Executive Officer of the Mobility Business Sales Division at Nippon Express.
“Our mission is to use this accumulated experience as a lead logistics provider to optimise our clients’ supply chains.”
Since Nippon Express provides services to multiple carmakers, it has been able to expand its perspective across the industry to achieve what it calls “horizontal development”,and to share optimal reforms and logistics innovations for the whole industry.