Chapter 4 Creating a Smoother Physical Distribution System

1. An Effective Physical Distribution System

  (1) Effective physical Distribution
    In recent years limitations surrounding the distribution system, such as labor shortages and environmental problems, have intensified. On the other hand, demand for the rise of the level and diversity of distribution has increased in line with the rise in Japanese people's quality of life.
    Therefore, distribution needs to be made more efficient in the future, in order to ensure that a higher standard and diversity of distribution can be achieved in the face of increasing restrictions. Mutual cooperation is required between distributors and producers to ensure effective distribution.
  (2) Measures for Effective Distribution

  @ On artery the use of more effective forms of transport - such as railways and ships - rather than trucks, is appropriate. A change in transport modes of this sort is known as "modal shift". The MOT is promoting modal shift through support of increases in rail transport capacity and promotion of the construction of "unit load terminal facilities" for domestic trade.
  A Inside the city, dependence on truck transport is inescapable, and it needs to be used efficiently.
The use of more efficient commercial vehicles rather than private vehicles and mixed-loaded cargo should be made to ensure a higher level of efficiency of stowage. The Ministry of Transport is promoting mixed-loaded cargo through support for the construction of distribution centers to be used in common by truck companies.

2. Development of the Freight Forwarding Business

Development of the Freight Forwarding Business Using Rail Transport
    The freight forwarding business using rail also supply door-to-door delivery services. Problems have arisen in this area in recent years, however, due to increased labor shortages and aging of the employees. It needs to be improved through increasing mechanization and improvement of the working environment. The MOT is supporting the mechanization of cargo handling and putting efforts into the spread of consistent palletization.
Support is being given for the construction of pallet depots.
Development of The Freight Forwarding Business Using Air Transport
Businesses which consistently use air transport account for 80% of domestic cargo and about 90% of international cargo. In the international air transport sector services include sea-and-air transport, which combine prompt air transport and low cost sea transport, and international parcel services for door-to-door delivery of small sized articles. In the domestic air transport sector, services also include air-and-rail transport and domestic parcel services using an air.
International Intermodal Transport System
International intermodal transportation is developed in the international physical distribution sector. It uses a number of forms of transport - sea, rail, air and truck. There are Siberian land bridge using the Siberian Railway to connect with Europe and the Middle East and routes to connect with the United States, Europe, Korea and China.
International intermodal transportation systems offer the possibility of a diverse range of routes and a choice of delivery methods. They can be expected to develop further in the future in response to increases in and diversification of customer needs.

3. Establishment of Physical Distribution Bases

Domestic physical Distribution Bases
Demand has grown for development of physical distribution bases - including warehouses, truck terminals - as the volume and quality of physical distribution. Increasing demand has arisen in recent years for modern distribution bases with facilities such as assembly and cutting and capacity for data processing in addition to already existing storage and handling functions. There is also increasing demand for composite distribution bases which include research capacities for use in common by distributors.
The MOT is supporting the construction of distribution bases in order to smooth out and raise the quality of the distribution system.
International Distribution Bases
In line with recent changes in the structure of trade,
there is now a demand for the construction of distribution bases which can handle finished products, in addition to traditional raw materials imports. These facilities demand steaming and label sticking capacities in addition to storage and handling functions. Development of comprehensive import terminals and air cargo handling facilities is also required.
The MOT is supporting the construction of international distribution bases with a view to promoting imports.  

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