What Do You Think Is Needed to Realize Sustainability?


The COVD struck a final blow to the world logistics

Somewhere in countryside in early morning, a boy on a bicycle is throwing a newspaper to a front porch house-to-house. I’m sure you’ve watched such a scene in some Hollywood movies. It was so surprising when I watched it for the first time, but now I think it might be a good solution to the problem of a shortage of delivery workers. It would be done not by people but by drones in the near future, I believe though.

By increasing demand for e-commerce and the rapid economic recovery from the COVID crisis, the world logistics is still overwhelmed. According to Bloomberg, container ships have to wait for an average of 16.9 days to enter the port of Los Angeles. Our containers take twice as long to get to our branch office in the US.

Logistics service is one of the important social infrastructures

The situation is the same in Japan. The jobs-to-applicants ratio in the transportation industry is said to be about three times. Transport companies always suffer from a shortage of delivery workers. The year end and new year season is the peak season for delivery demand. Every time I see them work in heavy snow and extremely cold weather around here in this season, I pay my sincere respect.

One day, I happened to see a delivery worker carefully beat the snow from his shoes before entering a front porch. His consideration was impressive, but if such is instructed by the company, I think it’s too much. More importantly, I want to reduce their burden to keep logistics service as a social infrastructure.

A wooden chair frame is placed solely in the middle of a painting booth.

Mutual consideration is necessary for sustainability

Our dining tables are packaged separately: legs and a tabletop, but all of them are assembled and checked in the final product inspection before packaging. The assembly inspection sometimes leaves a small and slight mark on the bottom (sole) of a table leg. It’s very rarely, but there have been some complaints from customers. Of course, we want to please all of them with our products, but I think it’s a matter of degree.

In everyday life, we take turns to serve as service providers and receivers. The burden of service providers would be finally passed on service receivers as a price increase and damages on social and ecological sustainability. As the proverb says, a contented mind is a perpetual feast.


Photo Credit: https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2016/01/06/boston-globe-delivery-woes-christopher-b-daly


Shungo Ijima

He is travelling around the world. His passion is to explain Japan to the world, from the unique viewpoint accumulated through his career: overseas posting, MBA holder, former official of the Ministry of Finance.