Yamato Logistics Hong Kong
The Path to Digital Transformation
Established in 1982, Yamato Logistics Hong Kong (Yamato) is a member of Yamato Group Japan and is now one of the largest logistics and transportation service providers in Hong Kong.
For decades, Yamato has been running its operations on on-premise systems. But with the rise of industrial 4.0, Yamato is looking to shift its IT systems to the cloud and embrace digital transformation.
As the first step, Yamato reviewed a range of cloud services. According to Samson, AWS was selected not only because of its scalability and flexibility, but also its diversity in applications. With the deployment of AWS services, Yamato is able to overcome some of the challenges in IT management, cost reduction, and data analysis.
The logistics market has thrived in recent years due to COVID and the rise of e-commerce. For Yamato, the most urgent problem is the complexity of its IT infrastructure environment. The old on-premise systems do not have such capacity and scalability to cope with the fast-growing demands, which is putting a lot of pressure on the workforce and costs.
Yamato knows that they need a scalable platform that can help them build a more flexible yet resilient IT infrastructure environment to cope with the dynamic market. Also, given the nature of logistics and transportation businesses, integrating the physical flows of packages is also a challenging task. A lot of data is generated in the process of storage, collecting, and delivering. Needless to say to manage all these data and use them for further data analysis to probe insights.
The Benefits of Using AWS
Migrating to the cloud was the first phase for Yamato’s digital journey, and they immediately benefited from the flexibility and agility of cloud-based infrastructure. AWS services are able to support Yamato to cope with the low and high peaks of seasonal demands, and the service downtime is also significantly decreased.
Now with a solid cloud infrastructure, Yamato has initiated phase two of its digital journey –bringing in data solutions in the hope of gaining insights from data and business intelligence tools.
Building a Custom Data Solution
Not long after its migration to the AWS cloud, Yamato partnered with Nextlink to prepare and launch data pipelines, and the first project was to build a new Fleet Management System (FMS). The old FMS was built on SQL services and it was difficult to get real-time data and manage data manually.
In just two months, Nextlink helped Yamato to build a custom data solution for its FMS. Now, end-users can easily see and export data on the FMS. This brought a great leap in cross-unit communication and work productivity for Yamato , enabling their teams to make more data-driven decisions.
Data Ingestion & Data Lake
- S3: Act as a serverless data lake to store unlimited volumes of raw data in csv and zip format.
- Glue Crawler & Data Catalog: Classifies data to determine the format, schema, and associated properties of the raw data. And since Yamato’s FMS is undergoing system upgrades during the project, Glue Crawler also makes the pipeline adaptive to schema change with metadata version control.
Event-driven Data Processing
- Lambda: Triggered by leveraging S3 Event notification and CloudWatch event, so whenever a new upload event to S3 happens, Lambda functions will call Glue crawler API to adapt to the new schema, and then call Glue job API to start ETL processing.
- AWS Glue: Implement data cleansing and aggregation based on pre-defined business logic with logistics-related commercial data and metrics.
- Athena: Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S2 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless and no initial setup is required to analyze large-scale datasets.
- QuickSight: Amazon QuickSight enables users in the organization to understand data in the natural language. Everyone can explore data through interactive dashboards, or look for patterns and outliers powered by machine learning.
This is the architecture diagram for the AWS Data Pipeline.
Data is the new “fuel” to driving business growth in the new normal
“This data solution is a milestone along the digital journey of Yamato Hong Kong”, says Geroge Tang, Sales Manager of Nextlink Hong Kong. “The FMS is a piece of important information and asset for the logistics and transportation businesses. By bringing in the AWS solutions, all information on the FMS can be shared instantly with different business units, which enables teams to work together.”
The digital journey for Yamato has just begun. Now with a solid cloud-based infrastructure and data solution, the future goals of Yamato is not only to integrate different information, but to dive deeper into data analytics, and utilize machine learning.
About Yamato Logistics Hong Kong
Yamato Logistics (HK) Ltd. is a member of the Yamato Group. Our main business includes international freight forwarding, door-to-door delivery service, logistics service and local/international moving service. With our extensive Yamato global network and over 38 years of experience in Hong Kong, we are committed to offer optimum supply chain solutions and innovative logistics services to customers.