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Yamato to set world standards for refrigerated delivery

A Yamato deliveryman makes his rounds in Hong Kong. The company wants to set international standards for delivery of chilled and frozen products.

TOKYO -- Japanese logistics giant Yamato Holdings will formulate international standards for door-to-door refrigerated parcel delivery services in partnership with the Japan unit of the British Standards Institute. The company hopes to capitalize on the service and boost exports of fresh food and other products from Japan. 

Founded in 1901, the British Standards Institute is the world's oldest standardization organization and a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization. Yamato aims to disclose standards in early 2017 after consultations with experts in the industry. 

In 1988 Yamato Transport, a core unit of Yamato Holdings, was the world's first logistics company to offer door-to-door delivery of refrigerated parcels in Japan. In 2013, Yamato expanded to international deliveries. To facilitate this, their trucks have two types of temperature management systems: refrigerated with a temperature of 0 C to 10 C and frozen with a temperature of minus 15 C.

In Japan, refrigerated delivery service is also provided by Sagawa Express and Japan Post, but such service is limited overseas. Throughout Asia and other regions, there is growing demand for refrigerated services due to the spread of orders made via the internet. However, many local transport companies are so sloppy that they just cool packages with plastic bags filled with ice, a Yamato Holdings representative said.  

Since launching refrigerated delivery services in Hong Kong in 2013, Yamato has expanded its network to Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. Because it is impossible for Yamato to build a distribution network for such services around the entire world, it is hoping that formulating international standards will help. 

Teaming up with local transportation companies that meet international standards will enable Yamato to expand distribution areas efficiently while maintaining quality. With Japanese food gaining popularity in Asian countries, the service will enable the direct shipments from Japan to local restaurants.

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