ITOCHU Announces Strategic Business Investment In Major Taiwanese Courier Business Operator Taiwan Pelican Express

March 17, 2021

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has made a strategic investment in the major Taiwanese courier business operator Taiwan Pelican Express Co., LTD. (headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan; Chwen-Jy Chiu, Chairman; hereinafter "Taiwan Pelican Express") via Taiwanese subsidiary ITOCHU Taiwan Corporation (headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan; Shuji Oe, Chairman and President; hereinafter "ITOCHU Taiwan"), thereby acquiring a 19% share in the company.

Recently, the e-commerce (EC) market of contactless transactions is expanding rapidly amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. In Taiwan, too, the EC market is displaying a high growth rate of over 10% per year, with the growth rate anticipated to rise to 17.5% between 2019 and 2020.*1 At the same time, Taiwan's D2C market*2 remains in its developing stages. Although the number of small-lot deliveries in the logistics business field—which is an important function for D2C—has increased significantly due to the expansion of the EC market, the D2C market remains focused on a labor-intensive senders' perspective, and there is a need for further digitization and new business creation based on the idea of ​​incorporating market needs.

Taiwan Pelican Express is a major courier business operator in Taiwan, established in 1999 in collaboration with a major Japanese courier business operator. After introducing services from Japan—such as designation of delivery time and in-store collection—the company went on to provide an EC mall store-opening agent service and a warehouse logistics business for BtoB. It is now responsible for delivering over 40 million items annually, as an essential part of Taiwan's logistics infrastructure.

ITOCHU invested in Taiwan Pelican Express in 2000 via ITOCHU Taiwan. Since then it has provided support for the launch of its courier services and driven business cooperation with the ITOCHU Group. Additionally, in recent times, group companies such as BELLSYSTEM24 (which is engaged in contact center business operations) and Paidy (a postpaid payment settlement service) have successively established locations in Taiwan, and are rolling out EC-related businesses.

The strategic business investment will further deepen the level of collaboration with the ITOCHU Group in EC-related business. In the D2C field, where there is room for further growth, there are plans to launch a comprehensive EC fulfillment business that will support the D2C business operations of local Taiwanese manufacturers as a one-stop service. In addition, ITOCHU will support the business transformation of Taiwan Pelican Express by developing new businesses that utilize the company's points of annual direct contact with around 40 million consumers, and ITOCHU's DX (digital transformation) support system in Japan.

ITOCHU transforms business through its "market-in" approach, which is a basic policy included its next medium-term management plan, and this effort is in line with this policy. Through its additional investment in Taiwan Pelican Express on this occasion, ITOCHU will seek to incorporate DX functions into the courier logistics business, further accelerate the creation of new business opportunities, and aim to increase the earning power of Taiwan Pelican Express and other ITOCHU Group companies.

  • *1According to materials announced on August 5, 2020 by Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs. The average annual growth rate of the EC market in Taiwan over the two-year period from 2017 through 2019 was 12.2% per year, while the growth rate for 2019 through 2020 is expected to be 17.5% per year.
  • *2D2C: Direct sale of products to customers via a company's own EC site, without selling via an intermediate logistics business operator.

Taiwan Pelican Express Company Outline

Corporate name Taiwan Pelican Express Co., LTD.
Location No. 2, 19-9 Sanchong Road, Nangang District, Taipei, Taiwan
Representative Chwen-Jy Chiu
Number of employees 2,146 (as of March 31, 2020)
Business Activities Courier and logistics business