GROUND Collaborates with Hitachi Transport System to Develop a Next-generation Logistics Platform



GROUND Collaborates with Hitachi Transport System to Develop a Next-generation Logistics Platform

GROUND Inc. (Head office: Koto-ku Tokyo; President and Representative Director/CEO: Hiratomo Miyata; hereinafter, “GROUND”), the leading LogiTech® business in Japan, announces that it has reached an agreement with Hitachi Transport System, Ltd. (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; Representative Executive Officer and President/CEO: Yasuo Nakatani; hereinafter, “Hitachi Transport System”), to collaborate toward building a shared E-commerce platform center (hereinafter, the “EC Platform Center”) which is expected to commence full-scale operation in September 2019 in Kasukabe City, Saitama. Details are as follows.

1. Background of the collaboration
One of the serious social challenges faced by Japan is the plummeting working-age population, which is expected to decline 50%*2 over the 50-year period from 2010 until 2060. Given this situation, demand is growing for logistics services to support the working-age population and seniors.

Meanwhile, the distribution/logistics industry sees E-commerce operators facing even tougher business conditions in recent years due to the surge in labor cost for warehousing staff and the increase in delivery fees charged by shipping companies, among other factors. Even with all of that, progress in logistics reform is slow in Japan partly due to companies, depending on the size of business, having difficulty making large investments to facilitate labor savings and automation in warehousing operations.

2. Purpose of the collaboration
GROUND, since its founding in 2015, has been working with a focus on creating new value in the logistics industry and implementing Intelligent Logistics®*1, a logistics platform that can be used by everyone, featuring the adoption of advanced technologies such as AI and robotics.

Complimenting this, Hitachi Transport System, which set out the sharing economy as one of its Mid-term Management Plan key concepts, seeks to open and operate the EC Platform Center to enable multiple e-commerce operators to use newly installed logistics equipment and warehousing space on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Under the collaboration agreement, the two companies will share their respective technologies and expertise with each other, discuss cooperative structures pertaining to the building of the EC Platform Center, and implement their logistics reform initiatives.

3. Details of the collaboration
(1) Expertise and technologies owned by GROUND will be provided for the building of the EC Platform Center that will be operated by Hitachi Transport System.
(2) LogiTechR solutions nurtured by GROUND will be provided.
(3) The collaboration will facilitate discussion towards establishing cooperative and supportive structures to drive logistics/E-commerce reforms in Japan.

With demand for E-commerce/logistics services growing, the two companies will work towards establishing cooperative/supportive structures for the enhancement and development of complex solutions to solve a variety of challenges, and by doing so, they will contribute together to logistics reforms in Japan.

*1: “LogiTech®” and “Intelligent Logistics ®” are registered trademarks or trademarks of GROUND Inc.
*2: Latest Demographics Statics 2016 by the National Institute of Population Social Security Research.

■ About Hitachi Transport System, Ltd.
Business outline: Operation of logistics-related businesses both in Japan and abroad with a focus on 3PL services which undertake comprehensive logistics operations outsourced by client companies.
Founded: February 1950
Head Office: Hitachi Transport Building, 2-9-2, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative: President and Chief Executive Office Yasuo Nakatani
Capital: 16,802 million yen (as of March 31, 2019)

■ About GROUND Inc.
GROUND provides innovative solutions based on the world’s most advanced technologies in the logistics and distribution industry (LogiTech®*), aiming to achieve Intelligent Logistics®*, its original concept that applies the latest technologies such as AI and robotics.

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