In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of people living in cities with a population of greater than 200,000 because of local government mergers and a higher concentration of people living in urban areas. As a result, this has caused increase energy usage and encouraged local governments across Japan to carry out a large number of projects for developing low-carbon and sustainable urban infrastructure.
For Sustainable Urban Living
Society is beginning to recognize the need for sustainable development and changing conventional approaches to economic development and growth given the increasing seriousness of environmental issues.
Today, Japanís regions face challenges such as depopulation while its urban areas are using a growing amount of energy due to the greater concentration of populations. To address these issues, a large number of urban development projects are underway throughout Japan with the focus on the keywords of eco, smart and sustainable, because of the need to create sustainable approaches to living in urban areas.
Centralized Delivery of Parcels from Multiple Providers
Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST) was established through a partnership between the City of Fujisawa in Kanagawa Prefecture and private-sector companies. It is located a close distance from the Shonan shoreline, which is a famous surfing destination. As a smart town and hub of residential living, this community is promoting a sustainable, smart life for residents by incorporating new services and technologies with an eye on community development that spans a 100-year time horizon.
Yamato Transport is now working on an evolution of smart logistics infrastructure to underpin community development there in a partnership with the townís information network and community, in light of the environmental goals Fujisawa SST has set for itself. In November 2016, Yamato Transport opened Next Delivery SQUARE inside Fujisawa SST as an integrated logistics hub for the entire community. Using this hub, we launched a centralized delivery service in which all parcel deliveries from other providers go through this facility and Yamato Transport is responsible for the last one-mile. We have provided centralized delivery services for commercial facilities, but this marks the first service of its kind in Japan for residential neighborhoods.
POINT Certified under the Revised Act for Integration and Improvement of Physical Distribution
On October 25, 2016, the centralized delivery service provided at Fujisawa SST became the first in Japan to receive certification from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism under the Revised Act for Integration and Improvement of Physical Distribution.
Delivering On-demand Logistics with Centralized Management of Parcel Information
Next Delivery SQUARE is now able to manage information on parcels delivered within Fujisawa SST by consolidating the parcels of other providers at the same location. In March 2017, we began providing services utilizing this information. By streaming the dayís delivery schedule and notices of failure to deliver using a smart TV installed in each home, we have developed an environment for meeting the delivery needs of residents and created an on-demand logistics system. Changes can be made to the delivery time or designated delivery location from the TV screen, which eliminates the hassle of contacting each individual express home delivery provider and receiving parcels individually. We also improve safety by making use of hand-pushed trolleys and new three-wheelers (electric bicycles) for deliveries around the neighborhood.
We have also launched a special site introducing specialty product sales, lifestyle support services such as cleaning services, and information about events held by Next Delivery SQUARE. At the same time, we are making life more convenient and fulfilling for local residents by disseminating information through their smart TVs about new services such as ordering fresh fish from the Port of Odawara that is delivered the same day it is caught.
POINT Eco-friendly Delivery Center
Next Delivery SQUARE uses LED lighting and is built from low-carbon construction materials, not to mention it has a photovoltaic power generation system, as a smart facility that generates its own energy. As a result, Next Delivery SQUARE produces about 30% less CO2 emissions than Yamato Transportís other delivery centers.
Implementing Various Initiatives as a Member of the Community
At Next Delivery SQUARE, Yamato Transport employees lead the Childrenís Traffic Safety Workshop to raise traffic safety awareness among children attending kindergarten or elementary and junior high school in the area around Fujisawa SST. Employees also give these children the chance to tour and learn about the work that takes place there during mini internships on routes with SD to convey the importance of work. In this manner, Yamato Transport is committed not only to transporting parcels, but also to community development together with local residents as a member of the community.
Going forward, the Yamato Group will continue to create proposes utilizing the functions of its group companies with the aim of achieving sustainable communities.
Voice of Stakeholders
A Century of Community Development in a Public-Private Venture
Panasonic serves as the representative for the council that operates Fujisawa SST. Fujisawa SST began considering the importance of a sustainable lifestyle that is safe and security, instead of just environmentally friendly, following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. In 2012, when I received this proposal from Yamato Transport, I felt like Yamato Transport had a deep understanding of our vision for this community. Yamato Transport explained the details of this service during town meetings involving area residents, which led to its adoption.
Fujisawa SST provides an environment where it is easy to test out new businesses using cutting edge technologies like AI and IoT. I look forward to rolling out new services that will contribute to the development of this community by utilizing the functions of the Yamato Group.
Looking Forward to Tackling New Challenges for the Needs of Local Residents
My department is responsible for developing the residential systems used inside Fujisawa SST. One of these systems is the smart TV installed in each residence. The number of customers under contract has increased since the launch of Yamato Transportís on-demand services. Also, the delivery service of fresh fish from the Port of Odawara has been a hit with local residents because they get to enjoy the surprise of not knowing which fish they will receive each day and, of course, the delicious taste of these fish caught on the same morning they are delivered.
I feel Yamato Transportís strength is its ability to propose various solutions focused on the needs of local residents. They really understand the concept and meaning of this community, so I really look forward to working with them to tackle new challenges in the future.
Voice of an Employee
Always Thinking How to Contribute to Community Development
When I heard I was being transferred to Next Delivery SQUARE in Fujisawa SST, honestly I felt uneasy about whether the job would be a good fit for me. Centralized delivery of parcels to a residential neighborhood was a first-of-its-kind venture in Japan, but since the launch, customers who use this service have raved, proclaiming it saves them the hassle of picking up their parcel and they know exactly when the parcel will be delivered.
The mini internships planned since the inception of this facility have been a huge hit, and we plan on continuing these in the future. With the goal of increasing what we offer to make this community even better, we encourage SD to actively walk the community and talk with local residents to identify issues. I hope to continue working with other companies in Fujisawa SST to contribute to the revitalization of communities with new ideas.