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Our History

Inroads into the Air Freight Business

The roots of our company stem from the travel service department of Kinki Nippon Railway Co., Ltd. (Kintetsu), established in May 1948, looked ahead to the future of the air freight business.
Later, the air freight business was succeeded by Kinki Nippon Tourist Co., Ltd. (KNT), which was established in 1955.

BOAC Argonaut airliner at the Haneda Airport (1950)

BOAC Argonaut airliner at the Haneda Airport (1950)

Entrance to Hong Kong and U.S. markets

The KNT's air freight dept. established the first overseas subsidiary in the industry in Hong Kong in April 1969. The company seized the moment when there was an offer from a magazine publisher Corporation, which was proceeding with a plan to transfer the printing division from Japan to Hong Kong and looking for a Japanese partner to commission the freight of the magazine. The company considered it as an opportunity to enter into overseas markets and established the Kintetsu International Express (HKG) Ltd.
Furthermore, in May of the same year, the company established Kintetsu World Express (U.S.A.), Inc. (KWE/USA). While many others in the same industry headed for New York by following Japanese customers, the company ventured to Chicago in the Midwest, where American manufacturers were concentrated. In the mid-1970s, it just so happened that the electronics industry rapidly developed near San Francisco, California, and the area was named "Silicon Valley." KWE/USA started doing business with major companies and gradually expanded the business based on the relationship with such American companies as a springboard.
Kintetsu World Express, Inc. (KWE) was spun off in January 1970 from KNT with 211 employees. It was the first time that a company which focused itself on air freight was established in Japan and it attracted so much attention from the industry.

KWE/HKG

KWE/HKG

KWE/USA Chicago Office

KWE/USA Chicago Office

Opening of overseas offices centered around Europe and Asia

KWE launched overseas subsidiaries around the world after 1985 in order to build a door-to-door transportation service network. First, Kintetsu World Express (U.K.) Ltd. was established in February and Kintetsu World Express (Deutschland) GmbH was established in June 1985. Kintetsu World Express (Taiwan), Inc. was established in April 1987 and representative offices were established in South Korea and Australia in June of the same year.

KWE/UK

KWE/UK

Strengthening businesses in China

KWE has developed a Chinese business since the 1980s. It started in December 1985 when the company opened a liaison office in Beijing and then, opened representative offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Dalian, and Xiamen, and established the overseas subsidiary Kintetsu Logistics (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. in January 1995. What has become a major turning point was the launch of Beijing Kintetsu World Express Co., Ltd., which was established in November 1996 and would become the KWE's core corporation in China. Beijing KWE acquired the license to handle Chinese domestic air freights for the first time as a foreign logistics service provider in Shanghai in June 2005. In July 2007, Shanghai Kintetsu Logistics Co., Ltd. (established in 1998) opened a 46,000 ㎡ warehouse within the Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Zone.

Acquisition of APL Logistics

KWE acquired all the shares of APL Logistics Ltd (APLL), an affiliate of the Singapore-based shipping company Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL), and APLL became a wholly-owned subsidiary on May 29, 2015. APLL is a company which operates logistics business mainly in North America and Asia and offers a wide variety of services to major U.S. companies in such industries as automotive,retail and consumer products. KWE and APLL drive forward the improvement of service and expand business as one Group.

APLL transport truck

APLL transport truck

The formulation of Long-Term Vision

The company formulated the Long-Term Vision in May 2019, which will serve as a compass toward the next half century, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020. The Long-Term Vision aims at the business expansion in the global market and improved corporate value and aspires to solidify the company as "A Global Brand Born in Japan" in order to evolve and become the "Global Top 10 Solution Partner."
To rightfully earn the trust of our customers, Kintetsu World Express will challenge the design of future logistics in a changing world. This is our mission, our calling, and our promise as "Global Logistics Partner".

KWE 50th anniversary

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