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Shiten No.109 & 110

Shiten No.109

Logistics 4.0 ~ Spearheading New Breakthroughs in the Logistics Business (PDF, 1750 KB)

Author Masashi Onozuka

The field of logistics has charted three revolutionary changes over the decades to date.

The first such transformation was the so-called “mechanization of transport” from the latter half of the 19th century into the 20th century. Transportation capacity was dramatically expanded with proliferation of railways, automobiles, steamboats and motorized vessels, raising the curtain on an era of “mass transportation.”

The second revolution was the “automation of cargo-handling” from the 1960s. The practical application of distribution machinery for automated warehousing, sorting and other work processes powered the way to partial mechanization of cargo-handling work conducted inside warehouses.

The third revolution may be defined as the “systemization of logistics management” from the 1980s. This consisted of expanded application of IT systems, setting the stage for impressive progress in logistical management automation and streamlining, together with formulation of sophisticated infrastructure systems.

This study examines the (currently unfolding) fourth-generation logistics revolution, now increasingly hailed as “Logistics 4.0.”

  1. Change #1 Powered by Logistics 4.0: Laborsaving
    ⇒ Major reductions in processes requiring “human interfaces”
  2. Change #2 Powered by Logistics 4.0: Standardization
    ⇒ Expanding connections to logistics-related functions and information
  3. Magnitude of Strategic Investment Targeting “Logistical Equipment Industrialization”
    ⇒ The vital role of advance planning positioned to envision “scenarios for change”

Shiten No.110

“Agriculture 4.0” as a Means of Prospering in the TPP/IoT Era (PDF, 1007 KB)

Author Masayuki Igarashi, Daisuke Sato

This study addresses the general consensus recently hammered out in talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact (TPP). Explored are means of seizing on the “Internet of Things” (IoT), a trend rapidly disseminating and evolving within the industrial world, to engineer fourth-generation structural reform in Japanese agriculture geared to capitalize on perceived “threats” as “opportunities.”

The 21st century is swiftly shaping up as the “Era of Agriculture,” with the ability to secure food resources destined to keenly impact national strength over the coming decades. Against such a dynamic and pressing backdrop, every possible effort must be channeled into avoiding a situation under which Japanese agriculture suffers devastating damage due to the impact of the TPP. While Japan’s agricultural sector is said to be low in productivity, there is also no rational reason to be excessively pessimistic about such a situation. As this report postulates, a potent prescription for dealing with such concerns lies in putting “Agriculture 4.0” into practice. The author expresses confidence that this emerging new generation and domain of agriculture holds ample promise not only for Japan, but on an increasingly global scale as well.

  1. The 21st Century as the “Era of Agriculture”
    ⇒ Upon reaching a global population of 10 billion, the ability to secure food resources will increasingly impact national strength
  2. Agriculture Embarking into its Fourth Generation of Structural Change
    ⇒ Creative evolution from the realm of the tangible (power and tools) to the intangible (data analysis and utilization)
  3. The Most Appropriate Path for Japanese Agriculture
    “Scale expansion” and “Agriculture 4.0” ⇒ The critical importance of rapidly realizing a Japan format “Agriculture 4.0” capable of instilling high added-value and efficiency
Dec 21, 2015

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