Japan's logistics giant Senko, Thai firm tie up on cold chain business

BANGKOK, NNA - Japan's leading logistics company Senko Group Holdings Co. has tied up with a local firm to launch a full-scale cold chain business in Thailand, catering to a growing demand from food and food-related sectors.

Senko Group and MK Restaurant Group Public Co. set up a joint venture, M-Senko Logistics Co., in March in Bangkok to provide frozen and chilled food logistics services including warehousing and transportation in the Southeast Asian country, according to the Japanese company.

With a total investment of 1.5 billion baht ($47 million), M-Senko plans to build a 52,800-square-meter cold storage warehouse and a dry warehouse with 7,000-9,000 square meters of space in Samut Prakan Province south of the capital, while procuring 170 reefer trucks.

The cold storage warehouse is expected to start operating in August 2019 with the dry warehouse scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019.

MK Restaurant, a major Thai sukiyaki restaurant chain operator running about 640 dining outlets under nine brands, will spin off its logistics division into the joint venture's transport and storage functions to serve eating-out businesses, food manufacturers and retailers with various services including forwarding and trading.

M-Senko, with a registered capital of 1.3 billion baht, is equally funded by the two sides -- MK Restaurant and Senko with its two group arms -- at 49.75 percent each, while J-Will International (Thailand) Co., a Bangkok-based Japanese consulting firm, holds the remaining 0.5 percent.

The new venture estimates 2019 revenue of 800 million baht, aiming to generate annual sales of about 1.8 billion baht in three years when its operations reach full capacity, according to a joint statement.

It also plans to expand its logistics services in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, the statement said.

Besides Thailand, Senko Group has advanced into China, Myanmar, South Korea, the United States and Central Asia since its 1916 establishment. (NNA/Kyodo)