Our History

A pioneer in air cargo transportation, our long and storied past dates back to 1948, just after the conclusion of World War II when air cargo transportation was still in its infancy. Our parent company (then Hankyu Railways Co.) had always wanted to enter the air cargo transportation industry. Recognizing this unique opportunity to not only realize the life long dream of its founder Ichizo Kobayashi, but to fill a need of a then struggling nation, Hankyu set out and became the first IATA approved cargo agent of the post war era.

With private air transport by Japanese companies still banned by allied powers, Hankyu was forced to look outside its borders to secure an airline partnership. Hankyu turned to Pan Am World Airways, and on April 7, 1948 struck what would become the first air cargo agency agreement of its kind in Japan. Skies once dominated by military aircraft were soon bustling with civilian cargo planes. It was the dawning of a new era in air cargo transportation for Japan, and Hankyu was leading the way.

In the years that followed, Japan’s air cargo industry experienced remarkable growth & prosperity. This growth was fueled in part by freight consolidation services implemented by Japan’s leading freight forwarding companies.

In 1957 Hankyu introduced Japan Freight Consolidators (JFC), a group consolidation effort between Hankyu and Nankai Railways. Looking to distinguish ourselves from the competition, we set out to develop a new strategy that would improve delivery times to the East and Midwestern regions where nonstop flights were virtually non-existent. After successful deliberations with several air carriers and the U.S. Customs Service, Hankyu’s “West Coast Clearance” service was born. The concept revolutionized the industry by allowing Customs clearance of eastbound cargo to occur during the West Coast stopover while the aircraft was waiting to depart to its final destination. This innovative solution slashed delivery times by almost a full day and forever changed the logistics of U.S. bound cargo from Japan.

The years went on, and in 1986 Hankyu International Transport (USA), Inc. was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Hankyu Express International Co., Ltd. (HEI) of Japan, continuing our group consolidation efforts. However, in 1993 Hankyu decided to adopt a single consolidation approach and announced the dissolution of JFC. This was followed by our most recent merger with Hanshin Air Cargo in 2009.

We now operate solely as Hankyu Hanshin Express (USA) Inc. and look forward to many more years of prosperity and service to our customers.

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