Mark Shorney is the President of the new EBC Freight and Logistic Committee founded in September 2007. Many challenges have to be faced... The Regional Manager of TNT North East Asia looks very enthusiastic to start this brand new lobbying activity!
European Business Council |
<doc2080|left>Why did you decide to create this new committee?
First, I am currently President of CAPEC, the Conference of Asia Pacific Express Carriers of which DHL, UPS, Fed Ex and TNT are members, and we all have the same objective and want to see the commercial barriers fall in Japan. We realized recently that American freight and logistic companies are actively lobbying, but European companies did not have the necessary structure to reach their goal. DHL, TNT and Panalpina decided to create this Committee to strengthen the European lobbying voice.
What are the main obstructions you want to fight?
_Actually, the current legislation in Japan restricts the activity of foreign companies for moving airfreight across Japan for example from Narita to Sapporo. This is one of the major obstructions that we have to fight. In addition, delivery vehicles cannot park in the street whereas certain Japan Post vehicles can. Japan Post has recently been privatized and should have the same rules for competing products. Today they also have advantages in international logistics as their customs clearance is carried out by customs at public expense through a separate process while private companies have to employ their own staff. Japan Post have recently made a special arrangement between China Post increasing the weight limit on EMS from 30kg to 50kg which is in direct competition the international freight companies... All those advantages are unfair within the Japanese market.
Are the other Japanese competitors of Japan Post concerned?
Domestic freight companies are also lobbying for a level playing field independently of foreign companies. We are of course ready to deal with them if they are interested in too. A stronger European voice via the EBC means if both European and American could share the same message then for sure our action could be very effective.
Do you think that Japanese competitors are taking separate action because of low legitimacy of your committee?
We are only 3 members and I am sure that many freight and logistic European companies may be interested in joining us! We are not a shortlist of airfreight companies... DHL and TNT have been in Japan for over 20 years and have a lot of experience in the market but wider membership will add more experience.
Do you think that Japan really wish to open its freight and logistic market to foreign companies?
The restrictive laws illustrated for domestic freight indicates that things are not completely opened to foreign players but Japan will benefit more from being better integrated to the global economy. We have to make sure that some new barriers will not appear. Japan wants to create a new security system for logistic flows. Good security is in all our interests but we need to ensure that we do not also impede the efficiency of logistics flows. Our target is to be partners in developing this process as a strategic item for the future.
You have been in Japan for one year and you are already a leader of a lobbying group...
Yes! It's really great to be involved in such interesting challenges... I do not know Japan very well but I really enjoy discovering new countries. I spent 6 years in Singapore so now I am going to enjoy my new life in Japan. Of course, everything is not rosy but it is big fun! <img5>