BANGKOK -- Japan's Yusen Logistics will build a warehouse that complies with Islamic law in Thailand as early as this month, aiming to capture transport demand in Southeast Asian countries with large Muslim populations such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Islamic law sets various restrictions on products; food and consumer goods such as cosmetics cannot come into contact with pork or alcohol, for instance.
According to the Japanese company, this will be Thailand's first halal-compliant warehouse. Workers will have access to special forklifts and bathrooms. Trucks will transport halal items and other goods separately.
Yusen Logistics will remodel a section of its warehouse located southeast of Bangkok in Chonburi Province. The company was granted halal certification from the Central Islamic Council of Thailand.
Yusen Logistics made the move to establish the storage space in Thailand, where food and consumer goods producers are concentrated and the government is pushing exports to neighboring countries such as Malaysia.
Automobile-related transport accounts for nearly 70% of Yusen Logistics' Thai sales. The Japanese company will expand into the consumer goods sector, hoping to diversify and shield its business from ups and downs in the automobile industry.
In January, the Japanese firm announced its acquisition of two Malaysian logistics companies, which operate cool storage facilities that are halal-compliant. "Going forward, we hope to extend our halal-compliant logistics network to countries such as Indonesia," says Lee Check Poh, an executive officer and chief regional officer of Yusen Logistics' South Asia and Oceania region.