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Commonwealth Capital in JV with Japan's Kokubu for cold chain logistics

INVESTMENT firm Commonwealth Capital - whose food and beverage (F&B) portfolio includes brands such as Pastamania, Swissbake and The Soup Spoon - is teaming up with a Japanese F&B distribution giant for a cold chain logistics joint venture focusing on South-east Asia.

Commonwealth Capital, along with its wholly owned unit Commonwealth Food Services Pte Ltd, will form joint venture company Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics (CKL) with Japan's Kokubu Group.

CKL will provide end-to-end supply chain solutions to food retailers and food services firms, in Singapore and the region. These include all aspects of food supply chain management from pre-production inventory control to temperature-logged warehousing and last mile delivery.

The partnership taps Kokubu's experience in running 279 food logistics centres in Japan, delivering items from 10,000 food manufacturers to 35,000 customers including hotels, restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and convenience stores. In Singapore, CKL will also tap Commonwealth Capital's existing logistics facilities.

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CKL is now reviewing potential sites in the region for a network of food logistics centres, for an unbroken cold chain in Asean markets. In Singapore, CKL will optimise fleet performance with route-planning technology and the consolidation of items from various vendors for delivery to the same customers.

CKL will also tap Kokubu Group’s existing partnerships with e-commerce players in Japan to roll out similar capabilities in Singapore and the rest of South-east Asia.

To serve the ageing population and special needs groups in Singapore, the joint venture also aims to work with local food manufacturers to deliver specialised food and meals to hotels, hospitals, childcare centres, schools and military bases. In this, it will draw on Kokubu Group’s alliances in Japan with food technology companies and meal specialists.