The Kansai region of Western (Central) Japan is concentrated primarily around the cities of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. This report outlines the advantages of the Kansai market for U.S. firms highlighting the logistics aspects of the region and its basic transportation infrastructure, including Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Hanshin Port. This report also examines the Japanese logistics market and introduces the notion of U.S. logistics educational institutions/training service providers testing their potential in Japan. Considering its advanced logistics infrastructure and lower relative operating costs, there are some advantages to setting up business in Kansai. CS Osaka-Kobe is ready to assist U.S. companies interested in these opportunities.
Kansai Logistics Infrastructure:
The Kansai region boasts a highly efficient and comprehensive transportation infrastructure. The rail network includes extensive rail and subway systems as well as “Bullet Train” service (Shinkansen) that easily connects Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto to destinations throughout Japan. With the completion of the Kyushu Shinkansen in March 2011, Osaka is now directly linked to Southern Japan with rapid train service. Kansai International Airport (KIX) is the only 24 hour airport in Japan and has two 4000 meter runways in operation. In the area of shipping and logistics, the official implementation of the new Hanshin Port (a unification of the Osaka, Kobe, and Amagasaki port facilities) in December of 2008 and an associated 15% reduction in port tax for vessels calling on the unified port have helped to strengthen Kansai’s logistical competitiveness.
Kansai International Airport (KIX):
Kansai International Airport (KIX) is the only 24 hour airport in Japan and has two 4000 meter runways in operation. According to KIX 2011 summer schedule, 761 international flights per week, including both cargo and passenger flights, connect the Kansai region to 73 destinations in 26 countries. In April 2011, China Airlines started flight service on a Taipei-KIX-New York route. This is the first direct flight connection between KIX and New York since the airport began operations in 1994. In July 2011, Hawaiian Airlines will begin daily flight service between KIX and Honolulu with 7 flights per week. Including these flights, KIX offers 21 flights a week between KIX and Honolulu by 3 different airlines.
The air cargo industry magazine, Air Cargo World, ranked KIX No.1 in its 2011 Air Cargo Excellence Survey for Asia in the category of 300,000 to 1,000,000 annual cargo tonnage.