Dateline Southeast Asia

Logistics firm expands Japanese chilled food deliveries to Thailand

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Logistics firm expands Japanese chilled food deliveries to Thailand

Related tags Palm oil Sustainability

A door-to-door food delivery service linking vendors in Japan with customers in Thailand will launch next week to tap into the increasing Far Eastern food fad in Southeast Asia.

Yamato Transport, of Tokyo, is expanding its international Cool TA-Q-BIN chilled and frozen service to consumers in the country, after demoing a similar domestic offering since January. 

Thailand will now join Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, where Yamato already operates small-parcel shipments. The service is targeting consumers, stores and restaurants in Bangkok. 

The company believes that Thai interest in Japanese cuisine stems from a visa exemption in recent years between the two countries that has increased Japan’s exposure there. At the same time, main cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai have seen a growing number of Japanese restaurants opening.

It said that residents in Thailand are becoming more aware healthy foods, “leading to the growing demand of the secure and high quality food ingredients from Japan​”. 

Yamato Transport, a logistics operator that controls over 45% of Japan’s parcel delivery market, has a shipment hub in Okinawa, the closest airport to its markets. Vendors deposit their parcels at TA-Q-BIN service centres across Japan, which are then transported to the hub for export to customers, along with its regular consignments. 

With 24-hour customs clearance, the chilled shipments will usually arrive within two days for customers in Bangkok.

To preserve the food during shipment, the company uses refrigerated containers during transit. Parcels are then transferred to Yamato-designed cool containers for domestic transport. 

Through Yamato Group’s network, Japan’s fresh products will be delivered to customers in Thailand in fresh condition by door-to-door frozen and chilled transport​,” it said in a statement. 

Customers can expect to pay a premium for the service: chilled shipment prices begin at JPY6,050 (US$55) for packages of up to 2kg. For 15kg deliveries, Yamato will charge JPY26,950 (US$243).

It has plans to expand its service area to other regions of Thailand over an unspecified time.

More from Southeast Asia…

Hollande’s Indonesia trip leads to agriculture research project

An Indonesian consortium led by Singaporean palm oil planter Golden-Agri Resources’ local offshoot, PT Smart, has signed a new agreement with a French partner to support the development of sustainable plantations and develop maritime logistics.


The deal comes soon after a recent trade visit by France’s president to Indonesia to negotiate bilateral trade worth more than US$2.2bn a year.

The first French head of state to visit the country in 30 years, President Hollande singled out his wish to develop trade between the countries and voiced a desire to promote certified, sustainable development of Indonesia’s plantation industry through supportive measures.

The group agreed with France’s Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (Cirad), a long-term partner, to create a new “regional platform​” to boost sustainability and deliver training in major commodity chains, including palm oil.

The Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes in Southeast Asia (Salsa) project aims to regionally develop scientific and training skills on the sustainability of perennial crops. 

It will co-ordinate research, training and development projects to be conducted on the ground through shared experimental networks and training courses tailored for stakeholders.

It builds on the progress GAR has made in developing a sustainable, traceable supply chain, to the point that 60% of its palm oil supply is RSPO-certified, though it is on track to deliver full certification by 2020.

The consortium also features Riset Perkebunan Nusantara, the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community and Socfindo.

The partnership [between PT Smart and Cirad] dates back more than 20 years, training students, plantation professionals and researchers around the globe, while benefitting the company, its suppliers and 50,000 smallholders through yield improvement and better agronomic practices​,” said Daud Dharsono, president of the consortium.

This R&D partnership has been so successful it was renewed for another 10 years in March 2016. As the world’s second largest vertically-integrated palm oil producer, we hope new learnings through the SALSA platform positively impact the industry as a whole in its journey towards sustainably produced palm oil​.” 

The French researcher’s managing director-general, Michel Eddi, who had joined the French president for the visit, added: “We believe the answers to ending deforestation and achieving certified, sustainable production lie in capacity-building, and will continue to channel our resources and research and development efforts to these industries to attain this​.”

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