Production Parts Logistics

Logistics includes various operations for the movement of materials (parts) and products, starting from parts procurement through to the delivery of products to customers. Those operations located between parts production and creation of the final product are referred to as production parts logistics.

Production parts logistics in the Toyota Production System is based on the Just-in-Time principle and means transporting only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed. Additionally, it is founded on the so-called pull system, whereby each process takes from the preceding process only what is needed, when it is needed, and in the amount needed, thus eliminating the waste represented by excess production.

Until the completion of the Motomachi Plant in 1959, production parts logistics at Toyota Motor Corporation was concerned only with logistics within the plant and in dealings with suppliers. Since then, the increase in the number of plant bases in Japan, the start of overseas local production (CKD), and more recently the rapid expansion of overseas local production and the opening of plants within remote locations of Japan have led to a major development of the role of production parts logistics and expansion of relevant strategies.

In-plant Logistics
Logistics between Plants (including suppliers)
Pull system introduced (delivery in reverse order)
Logistics operations with suppliers based on 'visiting delivery' , with suppliers bringing parts to Toyota
Callout system introduced in machinery plant of Koromo Plant (Honsha Plant)
Delivery in fixed-volume sets (mizusumashi system) commenced
Following the start of operations at the Motomachi Plant, driver switch system introduced between plants (pull system started between Toyota plants)
Callout system adopted at all plants
Suppliers adopt driver switch system
Multi-stop delivery system/junction station delivery system introduced
Introduction of automated guided vehicle (AGV) system started (Kinuura Plant)
Logistics services commenced to plants in remote locations (Toyota Motor Kyushu, Inc., Toyota Motor Hokkaido, Inc.) (mainly marine transportation supplemented by rail and truck).
Operations commenced at Kamigo Consolidation Center for plants in Japan.
Introduction of on-site logistics support system commenced (Takaoka Plant)
e-kanban system rolled out to five Toyota vehicle assembly plants
e-kanban system rolled out to vehicle body manufacturers (rollout completed in 2002)
e-kanban system rolled out to all Toyota plants
On-site logistics support system rolled out to vehicle body manufacturers and overseas plants
Reforms in procurement logistics implemented
Use of rail for parts transportation to Iwate Plant of Kanto Auto Works , Ltd. commenced (Toyota Longpass Express);
- modal shift adopted*
P-Lanes introduced at Toyota vehicle assembly plants as part of procurement logistics innovation
Modal shift refers to the replacement of truck-based freight transportation on major routes with environment-friendly marine and rail transportation, which can also handle large volumes.
Logistics between Japan and Overseas (items procured in Japan)
Overseas Logistics (locally procured items)
Shipment commenced following start of operations at Toyota do Brazil (TDB) (May);
- CKD units transported in regular cargo ships packed in wooden crates*1
Container parts transportation to NUMMI (U.S.) commenced;
- Packed at Kamigo Logistics Center and shipped to Nagoya Port for loading
Logistics system upgraded following start of production at NUMMI;
- in procurement logistics in Europe and America, direct milkrun*2 adopted as standard (collection of mixed cargoes from destination area according to a fixed schedule decided on an individual plant basis based on visiting pickup from local suppliers)
Tobishima Logistics Center phase I construction work completed
Container parts transportation to TMMK (U.S.) and VW (Germany) commenced;
- Packing and shipment at Tobishima Wharf Center
Gradual transfer of CKD parts to shipment format using international standard containers (completed 1999)
Toyota Management Service Singapore (TMSS) established in Singapore to handle offshore logistic operations in the Asian region
SN*3 crate developed and introduced (originally for TMM Camry and NUMMI Hilux, subsequent rollout to regions except Latin America)
To coincide with start of operations at TMMF (France), joint European logistics system put in place using four junction station bases; Toyota Logistics Management System (TLMS) introduced.
Bulk packing*4 introduced for Indonesia (subsequent rollout to Thailand, South Africa, Brazil, China, etc.)
Kanban reflection system (KRS), a prototype of e-kanban system put in place at TMMC (Canada)
North America Parts Center California (NAPCC) established
Container format and dimension standards introduced in North America (subsequent successive rollout until 2003 introduction of Southeast Asian standard)
Joint logistics operations commenced in North America
e-kanban system rolled out in North American and European mass-production vehicle plants;
Joint logistics operations put in place using four North American junction station bases (cross-docking)
Inventory base for procured items (NAPCK) established in North America
Cross-docking center established in Singapore;
- module changed from consolidated cargo milkrun at shipment origin to consolidated cargo milkrun at destination
Toyota logistics management system introduced in North America
Offshore logistics know-how pooled with start of Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle (IMV) project

Operations commenced following completion of No. 1 berth at Tobishima container berth (TCB)

Operations commenced following completion of No. 1 berth at Tobishima container berth (TCB)
To coincide with start of IMV project, G-PACK parts order system introduced to manage offshore logistics operations
TCB No. 2 berth completed
New concept introduced at Kamigo Vanning Center and Tobishima Vanning Center;
- Transfer to system allowing shipment of procurement items from Japan in line with production needs of overseas production affiliates
The term knockdown is used because these vehicles are shipped in a state of relative disassembly (knockdown) compared to completed vehicles. Divided into complete knockdown (CKD) and semi knockdown (SKD) depending on the degree of disassembly.
The so-called milkrun is a form of multi-stop goods collection where a single truck makes a tour of a number of parts suppliers collecting parts. It is named after the practice of circulating around a number of farms collecting milk.
SN: stacking and nesting crates
Bulk packing is a form of packing which replaces the conventional parts shipment in sets for 10 vehicle units by shipment in sets containing the numbers of parts agreed upon between the supplier, Toyota, and the overseas plant. The aim is to improve the efficiency of packing and shipment operations, as shipment can take place in the same unit size as supplier delivery. Particularly in the case of bolts, nuts, etc.., counting together the items required for a set for 10 vehicle units is a resource-consuming operation, and it was therefore decided to send in units of, for instance, 1,000 per crate.

Back to Top