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Yokohama, Japan/Holzwickede, Germany: July 12, 2016. The Rhenus Group and Sankyo Corporation have established Rhenus Sankyo Logistics, a joint venture to handle Japan's imports and exports plus provide domestic distribution and warehousing.

The two companies have had an existing relationship in the U.S. for many years through Sankyo's Clearfreight subsidiary.

"Japan is the fourth largest importer and exporter in the world. Because of its specific business culture, however, it's difficult for foreign companies to establish a foothold in the market; so an experienced local partner is an enormous support," said Tobias Bartz, a member of the Rhenus board of management.

Rhenus Joint Venture JapanSankyo is part of the Fujiki Group that specializes in port services, multimodal distribution and transport operations. In addition to Fujiki as the largest shareholder, NYK, Mitsubishi Logistics and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines also have a stake in Sankyo.

"The Rhenus Group persuaded us, primarily because of its corporate philosophy and its logistics expertise," commented Sankyo president and executive director Kozo Fujiki. "Our successful cooperation in the past has been based on professionalism, quality and mutual trust. We'd now like to go one step further with the joint establishment of this company."

(Pictured left to right: Wataru Miyara, general manager Rhenus Sankyo Logistics K.K.; Takao Furukawa, senior managing director Sankyo Corporation; Kozo Fujiki, president and excecutive director Sankyo Corporation; Klemens Rethmann, CEO Rhenus; Tobias Bartz, member of the Rhenus board; and Andreas Loewenstein, president Rhenus Sankyo Logistics K.K.)

In a related announcement, Rhenus Logistics has built its own Customs and logistics terminal on the Belarus/Russian border in Smolensk, the first by an international forwarder.

According to David Williams, UK managing director of Rhenus Logistics, the Russian market offers great opportunities for exporters, but doing business in the country has its challenges: "Bureaucratic hurdles and a poor infrastructure further complicate logistics processes, along with complex and time consuming Customs clearance procedures. Indeed, many companies underestimate the time and cost required for the preparation of technical data and certification for imports into Russia, as well as the time taken to clear Customs," he explained.

Imported goods have to be kept in a special bonded warehouse under the supervision of Customs authorities until they are cleared for free circulation in the Russian Federation and only Russian legal entities are allowed to arrange Customs clearance and pay duties, added Williams.

The new Rhenus Customs terminal has capacity for 400 trucks and includes a 2,500 sq.mt. bonded warehouse staffed by officers from Russia's Department of Customs Clearance and Smolensk Customs.

The Russian national Customs policy aims to relocate facilities to the country's borders in order for imports to be delivered without the need for trucks to make time-consuming detours to inland Customs clearance centers, Williams said.

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