Kintetsu World Express (Hong Kong) has invested $45 million in a warehouse in Shenzhen which opened last month. Managing director Yoichi Tanaka said the three-storey building, with a floor area of 6,000 square metres, was wholly owned by Kintetsu, one of the largest Japanese freight forwarders. The Kintetsu group has 140 subsidiaries, with a market capitalisation of US$2 billion and 85,330 employees. The group's airfreight is handled by Kintetsu World Express (KWE), which controls 20 per cent of the airfreight market in Japan. KWE, which had $1.9 billion sales last year, reported $47 million profit before tax. It recorded a 120 per cent growth in sales over 1994. Mr Tanaka said the Asia countries contributed a great deal to the growth. KWE (Hong Kong) recorded a 145 per cent growth to HK$20 million last year. The Hong Kong company, which employs about 200, has six branches. They include sales offices in Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Xiamen, the new Shenzhen warehouse, a warehouse at Kowloon godowns and facilities at Sunshine Bay in Kowloon Bay. The company is expected to see a slight increase in sales this year. In Hong Kong and China, KWE (Hong Kong)'s business is made up of 70 per cent by airfreight, 10 per cent each by ocean and distribution, and 5 per cent each by courier and trucking. In July KWE (Hong Kong) established a subsidiary company in Shenzhen, Futian Bonded Area, with a floor area of 6,000 square metres. Mr Tanaka said the company would continue to act as a gateway to China and make every effort to develop the service network on the mainland. In May Kintetsu was awarded an ISO 9002 quality certification for air cargo, ocean, courier, distribution, warehousing and distribution by a German quality classification society. Mr Tanaka said Kintetsu strongly emphasised turnaround time, meaning that cargo from a shipper's door had to arrive punctually at the consignee's. 'Only 30 per cent of the shipment's time is in the air while the balance of the time is taken up by ground handling,' he said. In order to utilise the 70 per cent of the time efficiently, Kintetsu controlled the whole distribution system from warehousing, trucking, tracking and delivery, he added.