In another sign of Myanmar’s continuing re-emergence in the world cargo arena, Japanese forwarder Nippon Express Co., also known as Nittsu in its home country, has created a new subsidiary operation near Yangon, called Nittsu Logistics Myanmar Co.
Tokyo-based Nippon Express, operator of the largest forwarding network in Japan, is one of the pioneers of the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which was created in September 2015 outside of Yangon as a joint project between the governments of Myanmar and Japan to foster trade between the two nations, and also the rest of Southeast Asia. So far, 47 companies have set up shop in the Thilwa SEZ from 13 countries; 24 of the firms are Japan-based.
Nittsu Logistics Myanmar will provide integrated logistics services, such as sea- and airfreight forwarding, customs clearance, domestic transportation, warehousing and moving services, Nippon Express said. Current plans are to build a new 56,800-square-foot logistics warehouse on the site by 2017.
This is not the first investment Nippon Express has made in Myanmar. It created its first subsidiary, Nippon Express (Myanmar) Co., in Yangon in December 2014 (pictured above), soon after Myanmar (formerly Burma) began opening up economic relations with the world, following decades of isolation.
Since then, as Myanmar began adding democratic reforms to its government in 2015, the United States and the European Union have relaxed economic sanctions against country, making it one of the hottest new markets for air cargo trade. With its relatively inexpensive labor force, especially compared to China, several foreign companies are also interested in establishing manufacturing operations in Myanmar, creating a greater demand for logistics operations.
Nippon Express said it has established a cross-border network between Myanmar and neighboring Thailand in preparation for the new $2.3 trillion common market, called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC), which will formally launch next week as the year changes to 2016.
“The Nippon Express Group will further expand its logistics network linking Myanmar to other ASEAN member countries to meet demand for logistics services, which is expected to grow further after the creation of the AEC,” the firm said.