Hitachi Transport System and SG Holdings launch China–Japan integrated shipping service ‘Smart Import’ for apparel  

Hitachi Transport System, Ltd. (headquarters: Koto-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Yasuo Nakatani; “Hitachi Transport System”) and SG Holdings Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Kyoto City, Kyoto, Chairperson and CEO: Eiichi Kuriwada; “SG Holdings”) have leveraged the strength of group companies to establish an integrated shipping service named “Smart Import”, commencing operations in October and covering the shipment of goods from factories in China through to their local delivery destinations in Japan.

The service chiefly provides for customers who are manufacturing apparel in China with market deployment in Japan. More specifically, goods manufactured locally in China are assorted according to needle detection, product inspection and delivery destination at a China-based inspection center of Nisshin Transportation Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi Transport System. Upon shipping labels being affixed, goods are exported to Japan, with Sagawa Express then seeing to domestic delivery.

The assortment of goods at the site of production makes it possible for goods to Japan to go without additional processing once they have reached the country, enabling the forwarding of these goods on to their respective delivery destinations directly. This as a result achieves reductions in the lead time to delivery.

Moreover, the high quality of needle detection and product inspection techniques from Hitachi Transport System Group’s China-based inspection center helps to ensure the clearance of goods into Japan. Aside from significantly reducing the labor that goes into the processing of rejected items, and the risk of missed sales opportunities, the process is one that optimizes logistical costs.
Flow Diagram of Smart Import
Key Benefits
1. Lead time reduction
- Reduces operating time associated with the drayage and double handling to domestic logistics centers and distribution bases
- Reduces interim storage and secondary sorting at domestic logistics centers, reducing domestic shipment times
2. Cost optimization
- Lowers costs through overseas relegation of logistical processing (needle detection, product inspection, assortment for stores, etc.)
- Lowers costs such as for exportation and import duties on faulty goods through needle detection and product inspection being handled overseas  
As Hitachi Transport System and SG Holdings work proactively to continue establishing and providing for our customers goods and services with a high degree of convenience, the two companies are looking at the development of this workflow into Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Cambodia.