A very happy New Year to all employees of the Yusen Logistics Group.
I am extremely grateful to be able to celebrate the New Year with all of you, who work so hard in every country and every region of the world.
Review of 2016
The global economy in 2016 remained, for the most part, unpredictable. In Japan, consumer spending stagnated and economic recovery was limited. Overseas, the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union and the result of the U.S. presidential election were both major surprises; in addition, emerging nations suffered economic slowdowns, and exchange rates were subject to sudden fluctuations.
The Yusen Logistics Group aimed to expand sales as part of our Medium-Term Business Plan. We achieved solid growth in freight volumes in our ocean and air freight forwarding businesses, notably with consignments originating in Asia; in terms of profit and loss, however, our air freight forwarding business operated in an increasingly severe environment—this was particularly the case with outbound freight from Japan. While our logistics business continued to make investments, some regions suffered from the effects of decelerating economic growth.
Medium-Term Business Plan
Our Medium-Term Business Plan, “GO FORWARD, Yusen Logistics-Next Challenges-,” has now entered its final stages. Our overarching aim was to achieve sustainable growth, and it was with this in mind that we engaged in our Growth Strategy, Operational Strategy and Investment Strategy. It is clear that we have seen some success in expanding freight volumes, which was one of the principal elements of our Growth Strategy. Indeed, in our ocean freight forwarding business, I have personally experienced a positive shift in the way we are perceived by our shipping companies. This is a significant achievement, and one that was only made possible by the efforts of all of our employees in every country and region of the world. Thank you for your efforts.
With regard to our Logistics Business, we strived to improve the value-added services we provide in every region. This year, as has been previously announced, we will complete construction of multi-function logistics facilities in Bajío, Mexico, and Thilawa, Myanmar. Using these and our other overseas logistics facilities in an efficient manner, it is my wish that Yusen Logistics continues to provide high-quality services that cater to the sophisticated needs of our customers.
Looking ahead to 2017
2017 will see the completion of our current Medium-Term Business Plan, “GO FORWARD, Yusen Logistics-Next Challenges-” and, as such, I expect the early months of this year to be fruitful. The results we have achieved over the past 3 years have led to a strengthening of our corporate foundations, and will undoubtedly serve as a springboard for further progress.
This year will also see the announcement of a new Medium-Term Business Plan. The new plan is currently under discussion, but our basic strategy will continue in a similar vein. It is no easy task to achieve the qualitative and quantitative goals of a Medium-Term Business Plan and, if business environments change, then this task increases in difficulty. However, let us be ready to respond in a flexible manner and strive to realize our goals.
Over the past year, we have been contemplating how our company ought to evolve from both a medium and a long-term perspective. As a consequence, we expect to announce in spring a new Brand Platform that incorporates our Vision, Mission and Values. At Yusen Logistics, we daily address in a sincere manner the challenges both of our customers and of society through our business activities. Through these activities, I hope that we will be able to create new corporate values and, at the same time, I hope that we will evolve so that each employee can be proud of being a member of the Yusen Logistics Group. When creating new proposals, we must consider our deep ties to markets and societies; this will enable us to increase the value of the Yusen Logistics brand, and to develop into a company that will be chosen by our customers. And this, in turn, will contribute to the further growth of our company. I hope that all of you will develop a thorough understanding of our behavioral principles, “YL Brand Platform,” so that, together, we can unite and create a new Yusen Logistics.
I have no doubt that all Yusen Logistics Group employees are aware of the importance of compliance. Precisely because you are aware, however, I ask you to once again review your activities. Even a minor misunderstanding or mistake can pose a serious risk and threaten to shake the group’s management to its very core. Compliance violations cause financial harm to the company, tarnish our brand, and inflict major damage not only on the individuals involved but on all group employees. This could lead to the loss of the trust of [all] our stakeholders, and signal a significant drop in the value of our group. I hope that you understand the gravity of such infringements, and I ask you all to go about your business activities in a fair and honest manner.
In order for Yusen Logistics to achieve continued growth, it is essential that we observe compliance and coexist in harmony with society. We can contribute to the development of the company by striving to innovate while maintaining high ethical standards. It is my hope that, through our Logistics Business, Yusen Logistics will help create a sustainable, valuable future, and achieve further growth as a truly global total logistics provider.
Finally, please allow me to wish all employees of the Yusen Logistics Group and all your families a happy and prosperous New Year.