STA, 15 October - Yusen Logistics, a Japanese supply chain logistics company, opened on Friday its subsidiary in the coastal town of Koper, thus becoming the first Japanese freight forwarder in Slovenia. The launch is an important step for the port operator Luka Koper as well since it promotes the transport route via Koper.
The first Japanese logistics subsidiary in Slovenia will also help popularise Slovenia's sole maritime port among Japanese logistics providers, who still prefer the ports in northern Europe.
Yusen Logistics, employing more than 24,000 workers and managing a global network of subsidiaries, has been so far providing services for Slovenia from their Budapest division, said Luka Koper.
The opening was attended by Luka Koper CEO Dimitrij Zadel as well as Takeshi Kondo, chief regional officer of Europe region at Yusen Logistics, and Japanese Ambassador to Slovenia Masaharu Yoshida.
Japan is one of Luka Koper's priority target markets overseas, particularly in terms of containers and vehicles, said the operator.
Last year, Luka Koper transshipped from or to Japan almost half a million tonnes of goods, including about 40,000 vehicles and 27,000 container units.
The operator pointed out that Japanese companies also owned industrial plants in other Asian countries, which transshipped even larger amounts of goods through the Slovenian port, highlighting that the move would help further tap into the potential of the Japanese market.
Luka Koper also drew attention to last year's merger of three Japanese container shipping lines into a single business - the Ocean Network Express (ONE), which ranks sixth in terms of global ranking by vessel capacity.
ONE is not coming to Koper with its own direct shipping line, but it will operate as part of the Intra Mediterranean service, said Luka Koper, adding that setting up a direct commercial maritime link with Japan would definitely vastly increase transshipment business.
Referring to a milestone trade agreement between the EU and Japan which entered into force in February, Luka Koper said that the deal had opened up new possibilities in trade and service exchanges.
Moreover, in the wake of Brexit, Japan, coming up with an alternative to its plants in the UK, could opt for exporting goods, which would enable Luka Koper to capitalise on its own geo-strategic advantage.
Today's opening is another sign that Japanese companies are increasingly interested in the port of Koper. At the start of August, a delegation from Nagoya, the largest Japanese port in terms of transshipment, visited the port, expressing interest in strengthening the economic cooperation.
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