Tadatsugu Konoike

Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer
New Business Development Administrator / Executive General Manager, New Business Development Division

Konoike Transport Co., Ltd. (KONOIKE Group)

Japan is renowned for being a thriving business hub. The country is full of companies whose roots go back hundreds of years. Konoike Transport is one of those companies. Group founder Chujiro Konoike started a worker placement and transport business as a private merchant in 1880 in Kitadenpo, now part of Osaka. And Konoike Transport Co.,Ltd. was established in 1945.

Since over a century ago, Konoike has upheld their original vision of providing customer satisfaction by offering a broad range of services, in addition to transport. The company now provides services from logistics, production process contracting such as the steel and food industries, to the contracting of medical and airport services. Konoike has expanded across Japan and around the world, with bases in South East Asia, China, India and North and Central America.

Recently, Trusted Corporation has welcomed Konoike Transport to its community, as a Trusted Member. Trusted is an online platform for companies of all sizes, from any industry worldwide, to connect and collaborate.

Let us introduce you to Mr. Tadatsugu Konoike, the Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, and New Business Development Administrator / Executive General Manager, New Business Development Division from Konoike.
(Interview: June 7th, 2019)

Mr. Tadatsugu Konoike
Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer
New Business Development Administrator / Executive General Manager, New Business Development Division

1. Tell us a bit about Konoike Transport Co., Ltd.?

The KONOIKE Group is a professional service group that continues to solve social issues and innovate through manufacturing, medical care, airport operations, etc., beyond the boundaries of logistics.

Founded in 1880 – Group founder Chujiro Konoike opened a worker placement and transport business in Konohana ward, Osaka as a private merchant. Later, in 1945 the business was established as Konoike Transport Co., Ltd. Since then, we have extended our services to go beyond the expectations of our customers. The core of this vision is conceptualised by my great- great grandfather (Chujiro Konoike).

In 2019, as Konoike group we are providing contracting services for manufacturing industry and service industry, in addition to domestic logistics services, and global logistics services all across the world.
Our promise, mission, value towards our customers and society are as described as follows:

Our Promise:Striving to Go Beyond Expectations
Going beyond the expectations of people and society, advancing lifestyles and creating new value. At Konoike, this has been our job for over 100 years. We promise to continue to evolve, unwaveringly, over the next 100 years. At all of our locations, from where we got our start, you can find a true and unmatched dedication from our company towards our clients and society. People are trained, and grow in order to help other people dedication is one of relationships, where we sometimes must be responsible for the lives of other individuals. We challenge ourselves to achieve what our society asks of us. Our dedication is one of innovation, where we sometimes change the lifestyles of our country. Let us exceed expectations, break through our boundaries, and defy conventional. Going beyond what you were yesterday is the first step towards becoming who you will be tomorrow.

Our Mission: We pursue innovation at the foundations of our society that creates unique value, driven by respect for humanity and relationships of trust.

Our Value: In order to become a professional services organization that is trusted by our customers and society, we always must be ready to question ourselves regarding the three resolutions each of us makes as a Konoike employee.

Safety We take responsibility for life
Passion We are dedicated to quality
Growth We go further than yesterday

2. Is the company currently working on any innovative projects or technologies?

Following are the tasks we are currently working on as innovative projects for adopting new technology at different worksites.

  • In order to combat labor shortage and provide work efficiency, we are currently implementing autonomous forklifts with a unique feature, holding two pallets at a time, in one of our beverage warehouses.
  • Implementation of AI technology that recognizes the printed image of numbers on a steel slab at a steel plant to eliminate errors and provide better work efficiency.
  • For our truck drivers we are trying to introduce an AI technology that monitors the driver's attention and automatically detects a drop in responsiveness, in order to provide safety measures to the drivers and work efficiency.
  • In addition to the above, we are currently working on different new autonomous technologies, such as airport baggage handling, packaging of products using AI, and many more.

3. Which kind of areas is Konoike searching for technological solutions?

Currently we are searching for the following technological solutions:

  • Crane remote control
  • Devanning (loading/unloading from truck)
  • AGV
  • Self-driving Forklift
  • Robot Arm/Hand and Motion Planning (Teach-less Technology)
  • Telexistence
  • Auto Inspection

4. How will Konoike structure their partnership with start-ups?

One of our biggest strength is that we have long-term relationships with our clients who work in various fields. Currently, we have around 3,500 clients. Konoike Group’s services are comprised of different service fields including food related, airport, medical and engineering services.

Opportunities we would be looking forward to provide to the start-ups are as follows:

Firstly, we would like to obtain information pertaining to technological companies with unique automation skills, then we would like to go forward with licensing collaboration to implement the technology to our clients as well as into the market.

Secondly, we can have a business alliance without direct investment, or investment through venture capital.

Other opportunities for example; like a live demonstration in front of our different clients at our business operation sites.

5. What types of start-ups are you open to collaborating with in the future?

We would prefer to work with start-ups that already have a product that is concrete and usable. As we would test their technology in our worksite to get an actual image of the autonomous solution, and working ability of the particular start-ups.

Other opportunities can be provided in accordance with the business alliance.

In the long term, we are looking for any stage of start-up, but they should have a unique idea to create a new business. Other than early stage, we are mainly focusing on technologies which can be easily employed with the current business scenario, without disturbing the ongoing process of the business.

6. Once you have achieved all your technological goals, what is your vision for afterwards?

The problem with robotics, is that in order to use robots they require teaching to perform any action, but in actual life or in the business of logistics it requires action with understanding. So our aim is to be a system integrator to solve the issue of teaching not only in the market of Japan, but as well as across the world in areas where we are offering other services.

We would also like to offer after sales services without any language barriers, as we have recruited foreigners from different countries in our department, we can service any region of the world.

The system integration market is filled with a lot of suppliers for the automobile and semiconductor industries and is quite automated already - with robots currently being utilized. Whereas, manufacturing in the food, medical and cosmetics industries is still largely done by hand, so we are trying to target these markets. This is an enormous market where we can expand our customer range.

Trusted Corporation is a B2B platform and search engine that proudly supports cross-border and cross-industry collaboration between companies around the world. If your company is a startup, and you are interested in collaborating with Konoike, please get in touch via contact@trusted-inc.com.

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