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Yusen Logistics offers a full spectrum of integrated logistics functions designed to give customers a better experience.
Japanese-owned company Yusen Logistics, which commenced operations in Australia in its current form on 1 April 2011, is actually a merger of two logistics companies that have operated in Australia for almost 25 years.
The merger between freight forwarder Yusen Air & Sea Service and domestic logistics company NYK Logistics was simply the result of business sense – it occurred when parent company NYK Group realised that, after 2008’s global financial crisis, having one integrated logistics arm was better than two competing ones.
The resulting contract logistics and international freight forwarding company offers a full range of end-to-end supply chain solutions, including ocean freight forwarding, air freight forwarding, customer brokerage and tariff consultancy, as well as supplier management. Its network is similarly comprehensive, linked together by operational bases in 36 countries worldwide.
General manager of business development Grant Gurney has been with Yusen Logistics Australia through the Yusen Air & Sea Service side since 1999 and thus seen it grow from being a “reasonably small freight forwarding company” to a “major player in the market place”.
“Yusen Air & Sea Service opened in 1988 as a fairly small operation in Sydney and Melbourne, offering freight forwarding and customs brokerage services,” he explains. “Since then the business has grown mainly through organic growth, to a stage where we employ close to 100 people in the freight forwarding division. We’ve since opened in Brisbane and our turnover has increased markedly.”
All in one
In the spirit of being a combination of two initially separate companies, Yusen Logistics has ensured none of its services are separate either.
Gurney claims Yusen Logistics’ “total integration of services” is one of its greatest points of difference. “A number of our competitors have the same range of services as we do, however in many cases their different logistics functions are run as separate companies under the one holding company,” he says.
“In Yusen Logistics, all of our functional logistics services come from the one business. This ensures better commercial offerings, better operational service and better administrative procedures, which lead to a better overall experience for our customers in all areas.”
Yusen Logistics’ complete management of processes on the freight forwarding side is supported by 1-Stop Connections, who supplies the information required for its import and export operations. “Our use of 1-Stop includes an important software tool that allows us to make and receive payments from fellow community members, thereby speeding up the exchange of documents and funds without the need to physically transfer paperwork,” Gurney says.
Another of Yusen Logistics’ competitive advantages is said to lie in following a philosophy originating from the company’s country of birth.
“Kaizen is a Japanese word that, loosely translated, means ‘change for good’,” Gurney explains. “It is not just a program that we run to fulfil our customer’s expectations around continuous improvement, but a core principle of the way we do business.”
In accordance with the philosophy of Kaizen, Yusen Logistics staff are trained and encouraged to look constantly for ways to improve efficiencies. “In this way we can assure our customers that we are doing everything possible to help them in areas including safety, quality, environment, increasing efficiency and decreasing costs,” says Gurney.
For several years now, Yusen Logistics has also followed a “very strong” environmental policy. “In terms of not just having an environmental policy but in living by it, we would be at least the equal of our competitors, if not ahead of them,” he adds.
Catching the wave
Over the next three-to-five years, Yusen Logistics will focus on further developing its ocean freight forwarding services – a “growing area” according to Gurney. “Down to pressure from consumers to lower costs, a lot of businesses are transitioning from air freight to ocean freight movement – so a large range of products that were formerly transported by air are now moving by ocean,” he explains.
Using this strategy, and supported by its full spectrum of services and a dedication to continuous improvement, Yusen Logistics hopes to weather increasing consumer pressure to achieve “sustainable growth” across all facets of the business. “Our overall objective is to become a top-five international freight-forwarding company within the next three years,” Gurney says. “And it’s tracking in the right direction.”