Hongo automated warehouse, a large-scale facility that delivers products to people in Chugoku and Shikoku Area, resumes operation!

Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Inc. on Monday, April 27 resumed the operation of Hongo automated warehouse (located in Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture) which had been suspended due to the severe damages caused by the flooding in the heavy rains in the western Japan in July 2018, having introduced the latest technologies to the warehouse.

Due to the heavy rains in the western Japan, the plant which had one of the largest production capacity in Japan and the automated warehouse stopped functioning

Hongo Plant was completed in 1973 as the main plant of Sanyo Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Ltd. Since then, it had been operated as one of the largest manufacturing plants in Japan.

Hongo automated warehouse was also a large warehouse that automated a series of tasks from product delivery to stacking, making it a site that enabled man-power saving to make up for labor shortages in logistics industry and productivity improvement.

However, torrential rains (the heavy rains in the western Japan), which occurred during the period between June and July 2018, flooded Nuta River that runs through Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture, inundating Hongo Plant. As water entered up to a height of 2.5 meters at its peak,3 lines of Hongo Plant were forced to shut down. Hongo automated warehouse was also affected by pallets that carry products flowing out etc.

Hongo automated warehouse resumes operation, taking charge of Chugoku and Shikoku Area in "Shinsei project"

Recovery and resuming the operation of Hongo automated warehouse was a big project for CCBJI. CCBJI has moved forward with the strategic transformation of our logistics network "Shinsei Project" that began in May 2016. The objective is to enable efficient logistics operations and transport/delivery, in which Hongo automated warehouse serves as the core of product storage and supply in Chugoku/Shikoku Area.

[Related to Shinsei Project]

Therefore, we cleared technical hurdles one by one with the cooperation of the people in the local government of Mihara City, where the plant is located. As explained at the beginning, CCBJI realized the only high-rise 50-meter automated warehouse in Japan as a result, securing the storage capacity of 12,000 pallets, which is the same as before the disaster, and made it to resume operation on April 27.

Finally, we introduce comments from Bruce Herbert, Executive Officer, Head of SCM, upon resuming the operation.

Comments from Bruce Herbert, Executive Officer and Head of SCM
Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Inc.

"We have successfully resumed the operation of Hongo automated warehouse, having overcome the flooding damages in 2018. The project towards completion of new Hiroshima Plant is also making good progress, and the reconstruction from the disaster has been at the final stage.
In restarting operation of Hongo Logistics Center, the recovery of automated warehouses was the biggest challenge. I take this opportunity to express my appreciation for your participation to the project and your continued efforts.
This will allow products manufactured at new Hiroshima Plant, which is scheduled to be operational in June, to be stored in Hongo automated warehouse, and I believe products can be supplied stably to Chugoku/Shikoku Area. With new Hiroshima Plant, we will contribute to the recovery and development of Hiroshima more than ever before."