Marubeni Logistics, Bridgestone Cycle, and FineToday Begin Collaborative Use of Marine Shipping Containers Aiming for Sustainable Logistics by Promoting Efforts to Reduce Environmental Impact and Address the "2024 Problem" for Logistics in Japan

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 In order to build a sustainable supply chain, Marubeni Logistics Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Yoichiro Goto), Bridgestone Cycle Co.,Ltd. (Head Office: Ageo City, Saitama Prefecture; President and Representative Director: Masahiro Isobe), and FineToday Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and CEO: Tetsuo Komori) are working to reduce environmental impact in the logistics sector and help address the "2024 Problem." This problem involves an anticipated shortage of truck drivers in Japan next year when regulations will further restrict overtime work by these drivers. As part of this effort, the three companies announced today that as of October 2023 they have begun full-scale adoption of collaborative "container round use" (Note 1) for importing and exporting products.

Background of this initiative
 In order to help realize a sustainable society, measures related to the environment, society, and governance (ESG) are becoming an increasingly important part of corporate management. Among these efforts, initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality have become a top priority.
 Moreover, in Japan's trucking industry, a shortage of human resources is expected next year. The 2024 Problem combined with the rising average age of truck drivers has made the creation of a more efficient logistics system an urgent issue.
 Given this situation, Bridgestone Cycle and FineToday have been searching for ways to realize more sustainable logistics with less environmental impact. By taking advantage of the network of Marubeni Logistics as a subsidiary of a major trading company, and its past track record of collaborative logistics, the three companies have come together to create a container round use arrangement.

Features of the initiative
 This initiative is based on a scheme devised by Marubeni Logistics. Once empty, shipping containers used by Bridgestone Cycle to import bicycle products and parts from China are transported directly to FineToday's logistics site. They are then loaded with FineToday products for export back to China. This allows Bridgestone Cycle and FineToday to reduce the number of empty containers they need to return to or transport from the Port of Tokyo -- tasks they have previously handled on their own. The result is more efficient logistics.
 Test operations of the scheme began in August of this year. Now that it is operating reliably, full-scale operations have begun in October.
 Generally, it is difficult to improve the container matching rate (Note 2) for the round use of containers by companies in different industries. This is due to various constraints such as the volume of goods each industry generally handles and their locations. In this three-company scheme, smooth operations were achieved based on the compatibility of shipping volumes of Bridgestone Cycle and FineToday as well as their mutual cooperation. They are also supported by a container depot pool set up by Marubeni Logistics for the two companies (see "Initiative Overview" below).
 Thanks to this initiative, CO2 emissions for the two companies are estimated to be reduced by up to 24% (approx. 160 tons per year) and driver hours by up to 30% (approx. 6,600 hours per year), compared to the situation without the initiative. Going forward, the three companies plan to maintain the scheme with the aim of achieving a high container matching rate of 60% to 80%, while resolving any operational issues that arise.

[Reference] Initiative Overview

Aims of each company

Marubeni Logistics:
 Marubeni Logistics is currently promoting industry-specific platform models, along with collaborative logistics. This container round use initiative aims to help solve social issues in logistics through collaborative cross-industry container use. Marubeni Logistics aims to benefit society as a sustainable supply chain solutions company and green logistics provider.

Bridgestone Cycle:
 The Bridgestone Group places sustainability at the core of its management approach. It is implementing various initiatives to realize a vision -- "Toward 2050, Bridgestone continues to provide social value and customer value as a sustainable solutions company." The company is confident that its efforts to reduce environmental impact from logistics operations while also addressing the 2024 Problem will enable the Group to build a sustainable supply chain and eventually realize its vision.
 By building this sustainable supply chain, Bridgestone Cycle is steadily fulfilling the Group's Bridgestone E8 Commitment (Note 3) especially in two of the eight areas, namely, Energy (Committed to the realization of a carbon neutral mobility society), and Ecology (Committed to advancing sustainable tire technologies and solutions that preserve the environment for future generations).

 FineToday manages its business based on its purpose, which is to enrich the lives of everyone today and for generations to come, one fine day at a time. Since its founding, the company has combined its business operations with the promotion of ESG measures. While positioning climate change response as one of its most important management issues, FineToday believes this container round use initiative will both reduce environmental impact and improve profitability through more efficient logistics operations.
 Going forward, the company will continue to help solve social issues by promoting various sustainability initiatives, while achieving sustainable improvements in corporate value.

Note 1. After a container is emptied by the importer company, it is transported directly to the exporter company instead of to the port, and then reused for product export.
Note 2. This rate measures how efficiently inbound containers are able to be reused for outbound shipping needs.
Note 3. The Bridgestone Group newly established its corporate commitment, the "Bridgestone E8 Commitment" to realize its vision: "Toward 2050, Bridgestone continues to provide social value and customer value as a sustainable solutions company." This commitment will serve as the Group's axis to drive management while earning the trust of future generations. The "Bridgestone E8 Commitment" consists of 8 Bridgestone-like values starting with the letter "E" (Energy, Ecology, Efficiency, Extension, Economy, Emotion, Ease, and Empowerment) that the Group will commit to creating through Bridgestone-like "purpose" and "process", together with employees, society, its partners and customers to realize a sustainable society.


Marubeni Logistics:
Environmental Initiatives:

Bridgestone Cycle:
Bridgestone Sustainability Site:

Sustainability Initiatives:

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