• Nna/kyodo


Leading Japanese logistics company Senko Group Holdings Co. has tied up with a local Thai firm to launch a full-scale cold chain food business in Thailand, catering to growing demand from food and food-related sectors.

Senko Group and MK Restaurant Group Public Co. set up joint venture M-Senko Logistics Co. in March in Bangkok to provide frozen and chilled food logistics services including warehousing and transportation in the Southeast Asian country, according to Senko Group.

With a total investment of 1.5 billion baht ($47 million), M-Senko plans to build a 52,800-square-meter cold storage warehouse and a dry warehouse with 7,000-9,000 square meters of space in Samut Prakan Province south of the capital, as well as procuring 170 refrigeration trucks.

The cold storage warehouse is expected to start operating in August 2019, with the dry warehouse scheduled for completion in the spring of 2019.

MK Restaurant, a major Thai sukiyaki restaurant chain operator running about 640 dining outlets under nine brands, will spin off its logistics division into the joint venture’s transport and storage functions to serve dining businesses, food manufacturers and retailers with various services including forwarding and trading.

With a registered capital of 1.3 billion baht, M-Senko is equally funded by the two sides at 49.75 percent each, while J-Will International (Thailand) Co., a Bangkok-based Japanese consulting firm, holds the remaining 0.5 percent.

The new venture estimates 2019 revenue of 800 million baht, aiming to generate annual sales of about 1.8 billion baht in three years when its operations reach full capacity, according to a joint statement.

It also plans to expand its logistics services in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, the statement said.

Besides Thailand, Senko Group has advanced into China, Myanmar, South Korea, the United States and Central Asia since it was established in 1916.