ENEOS launches JV with Mitsubishi for last-mile delivery in Japan

ENEOS launches JV with Mitsubishi for last-mile delivery in Japan

Mitsubishi Corporation and ENEOS Corporation agreed to establish a joint venture (JV) aimed at optimising delivery operations by leveraging the latter’s service station network in Japan.

ENEOS has more than 12,000 service stations across Japan. With each service station functioning as both a last-mile distribution point and temporary storage facility, this new business promises to shorten the final legs of transport, which is from the final delivery point to the final destination.

Using service stations as distribution points can reduce the overall mileage of overland deliveries compared to direct delivery from large warehouses, which should also reduce the burden on drivers and delivery costs.

Furthermore, the fact that service stations tend to be already optimised to accommodate smooth inbound and outbound traffic makes them ideal logistics hubs. Using ENEOS’ existing service station network should also help to minimise additional costs associated with setting up the delivery points.

In the delivery industry, the growth of online shopping has increased home deliveries, which has led to greater demand for more efficient last-mile services. Meeting that demand will require more final distribution points and flexible logistics frameworks.

Mitsubishi Corporation and ENEOS have been conducting trials. The two Japanese companies have now agreed to establish a joint venture with the aim of clarifying the business entities and accelerating the verification of commercialisation. The joint venture will conduct a demonstration with shippers and delivery partners at service stations, with the aim of launching the business.

A large-scale demonstration project is now in the works to assess the business’ feasibility, which is scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2023. The focus will be on 100 service stations located in Tokyo and its surrounding three prefectures, where high demand for home delivery is expected. The plan is to grow the business to cover between 500 and 1,000 service stations  by fiscal year 2025 and commence work in fiscal year 2026 to expand operations nationwide.

The joint venture also plans to develop a delivery solutions app, which shall leverage data and expertise gleaned through the trials in connection with delivery-management systems used by shippers to promote smooth last-mile operations.

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