OSAKA -- Japanese logistics companies are tapping their abundant know-how to build advanced warehouses in Southeast Asia offering features such as temperature controls to meet the maturing needs of local consumers.
Rising incomes in Asia spur more people to expect quick deliveries of online shopping orders, creating demand for automated handling at warehouses to save time and strict temperature controls to keep food fresh.
Daiwa House Industry plans to expand a roughly 25,000-sq.-meter warehouse in Indonesia eightfold by fiscal 2018, investing 10 billion yen ($88 million). The facility in an industrial park near Jakarta handles home electronics and automotive parts. Refrigeration capacity will be added to take requests from food companies. Local joint venture Daiwa Manunggal Logistik Properti will operate the center.
Daiwa House also looks to build warehouses in the Thai city of Laem Chabang and the Bang Na area of Bangkok in fiscal 2017, together with a local logistics company. The combined floor space will total around 120,000 sq. meters.
Thailand leads its Asian neighbors in employing advanced warehouses. Indonesia, with a population of around 250 million, holds great potential but has lagged in development of logistics due partly to the challenges that the nation's many islands pose to transportation. But now "demand from domestic-market-focused companies is surging," said Tatsuya Urakawa, managing executive officer of Daiwa House.
Kawanishi Warehouse will open its first Southeast Asian facility in a Jakarta suburb in October, investing 2 billion yen. The refrigerated warehouse will hold ice cream ingredients, among other items, with floor space of around 6,000 sq. meters. The company plans another center of the same size.
"Logistics have not kept up with the rising living standards," Managing Director Hiroshi Fukui said.
Mitsubishi Logistics, which operates sites in Thailand and Vietnam, will complete an 18,000-sq.-meter refrigerated warehouse in July near Jakarta. The center will offer cooking facilities to prepare food for shipment to convenience stores and other commercial establishments. Prospective customers include retailers and food companies from Japan.
Mitsui-Soko Holdings has warehouses in Malaysia and elsewhere, and the company has opened a new one in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city. The center handles home items and autoparts.