Playing a hidden but indispensable role behind the scenes, Moripax aims to change the future of logistics through its innovation, while also becoming a key supporter of a sustainable circular economy.
"We have applications for our technology in the automotive, medical, and even the semiconductor industry.”
Yuko Sumida, President, Moripax Co., Ltd.
Supporting its B2B clients, Moripax specializes in the supply of plastic trays – niche products that are essential in several industries.
Two companies fall under the group’s umbrella: Moripax and Morioka – the former a trading company established in 1979, and the latter a manufacturing firm established in 1959. Having expertise as both a trader and manufacturer has been key to the group’s success. “Another core strength of our company is the total packaging we offer to our clients, as well as the design and plans we can create for clients in our Technovation Center,” adds president Yuko Sumida.
Ms. Sumida is one of the few female presidents in Japan’s still largely male-dominated executive world, having taken over in 2019 following the sudden and tragic death of her father, the former president, who oversaw the development of the company’s thermoforming method and expansion into several industries.
“Thermoforming as you know is a huge industrial sector, yet niche at the same time. It is essential, yet there are many different players with specific needs and applications,” she says.
“My father saw an opportunity to expand our thermoforming capabilities to other fields beyond pure packaging. Now we have applications for our technology in the automotive, medical, and even the semiconductor industry.”
The loss of her father marked a big turning point for the company, with Ms. Sumida’s biggest achievement thus far being the establishment of the Technovation Center, which is representative of the company’s goal of changing the future of logistics, and a fulfillment of an idea started by her predecessor. “We lost him, so as his daughter, I wanted to be the one that brought his dream into reality.”
“The Technovation Center is the core site for our 'monozukuri' where all key functions are gathered (planning, design, mock-ups, mass-production prototype, QA). Before, these functions were scattered in different factories, causing longer lead times, information was misled and quality was not stable, along with other effects. After combining these functions together, our possibilities and capability of 'monozukuri' has been broadened and we are able to work more closely with our clients to meet their packaging needs by offering a one-stop shop for packaging solutions. That is why I said ‘total packaging’ is a core strength,” she explains.
Collaboration is also key to the company’s product development. Ms. Sumida highlights the importance of nakama (comrades) throughout Moripax’s history, and the Japanese enterprise – which already has operations in Hong Kong and China – aims to gain more global partners as it expands its international operations.
As a plastic-related enterprise, environmental concerns are an inevitable issue for Moripax. Partnerships, both domestic and international, will also be key for the company when it comes to its ambitions in supporting green and sustainable development. "We have tried to build this sustainable platform with our stakeholders because it is something we cannot achieve alone,” adds Ms. Sumida. “Through collaboration, we affiliate with companies so we can achieve this goal together.”