In January 2006, 16 members of the Business Restructuring Meeting
Task Force of Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. (Nissui) gathered at the
refrigerated warehouses of the Tokyo Logistics Center (now Nissui
Logistics Corporation) with their tape measures in order to measure
the cartons (outer boxes) of the 928 items of the Group. The size
of the cartons impacts every aspect of logistics, from shipping
efficiency and cost reduction of packaging materials to efficient
use of refrigerated storage space, enhanced safety in freight handling,
reduction of waste, and beyond, to the cutting of CO2 emissions.
The DS Project Team was born out of this research. "DS" stands
for "downsizing." The first item to become the object
of the Team' s scrutiny was the main product of the Group, processed
salmon. The primary focus was the dimensions of the gridiron-shaped
pallet that was used to load the cargo in the warehouse and during
transport. Processed salmon products are manufactured by the Group
company, Salmones Antartica, S.A. of Chile and placed in cardboard
cartons that are stacked onto pallets and taken directly to cold
storage by forklifts. Previously, however, the size of the cartons
did not match the size of the pallets, so gaps and spaces formed
between the cartons as they were stacked.
Therefore, the Team studied the dimensions of the pallets used
both in Japan and abroad, and settled on the most commonly used
size of 1,000 x 1,200mm. The Team calculated the size of the carton
that would most efficiently fit on the pallet. Consequently, by
downsizing the salmon products carton, it became possible for a
single pallet to hold 63 ten-kilogram cartons whereas, prior to
the DS, a pallet could only hold 59, representing an increase of
|Improved load efficiency through
the review of the cartons for processed salmon products (10kg
|Distribution of processed salmon
The smaller carton eliminated the need for cushion materials,
as well as the trouble of throwing away the materials for the customers.
In case of ten-kilogram cartons, it means a savings of 38 yen per
case for the cost of cushion materials. Moreover, the elimination
of gaps and protrusions when the cartons were loaded onto pallets
ensured more-stable stacking and contributed to greater safety in
the storage workflow.
Furthermore, load capacity was improved by approximately 10% when
the cargo was shipped on container ships from Chile to Japan. The
improved load capacity, in turn, led to cost reductions and reduced
Hisami Sakai, current Executive Officer and Commissioned Deputy
Chief Operating Officer, who, as the SCO (Supply Chain Officer),
led the DS in January 2006 and later became General Manager of the
Supply Chain Management Department, recalls, "Previously, cartons
were ordered independently by each manufacturing plant for each
product, which meant that neither the product divisions nor the
logistics division gave much thought to the shape or size of the
cartons. In fact, when we first embarked on the DS, some did not
feel the need to change what they had gotten used to, and it was
no simple task switching over to the new cartons.
However, once the cross-sectional Business Restructuring Meeting
Task Force took the lead and demonstrated the major effects generated
through DS with the cartons for processed salmon products, DS initiatives
began to spread to other products. Currently, product packages as
well as cartons are being reviewed and, on a sales volume-basis
(all product categories excluding marine products), 85% of the Group'
s products have been subjected to DS.
Furthermore, in order to enable efficient loading of cargo, when
determining the carton size of new products, design software has
been introduced that has been input with the dimensions of the pallet,
the sizes of truck rear-bodies and ship containers. Currently cartons
are being designed for the purpose of achieving utilization rates
of 90% in terms of the base area and 85% on the basis of volume.
Logistics has always been one of the backbones of the Fisheries
and the Food Products businesses. Especially as the supply chain
surrounding the Nissui Group is time-consuming and involves vast
distances, streamlining and improved efficiency in logistics can
have massive benefits.