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Season’s First Sea Shipment of Chilean Cherries Reaches China

December 12, 2022

On the morning of Dec. 9, the first “Cherry Express” ship of the season—the vessel Seaspan Brightness—arrived in Hong Kong after a 23-day voyage at sea, marking the official start of the Chilean cherry shipping season.

On the evening of the same day, the Chilean cherry industry joined hands with China’s leading e-commerce portal, JD.com, to hold a joint press conference in Shanghai to celebrate the arrival. Gonzalo Figueroa, the Consul General of Chile in Shanghai, Freya Huang, Marketing coordinator of the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), and Yuan Yang, public affairs manager of the East China region at JD Retail Group were invited to deliver speeches onstage.

At 7:30pm that evening, the Sinar Mas Plaza near the Bund was illuminated with slogans promoting purchasing Chilean cherries on JD.com. The skyscraper, in red lights, created a festive atmosphere full of warmth and good fortune. Pinduoduo and Tmall, China’s other two e-commerce giants, also held respective celebrations for the first sea shipment of the season.

There were 145 containers of cherries on Seaspan Brightness. After the ship pulled into port in Hong Kong, the cherries onboard soon cleared customs and reached Guangzhou’s Jiangnonghui fruit wholesale market the very same day, stirring up an enthusiastic buzz there. 

Although the arrival date of the first sea shipment for this year is not much different from last year, the arrival volume has increased significantly, jumping from last year’s 54 containers to this year’s 145 containers. The peak of Chilean cherry availability is projected to come soon: the second ship, loaded with 126 containers, reached Shanghai on Dec. 11.

In addition to 39 “Cherry Express” vessels and 11 normal vessels, chartered refrigerated ships will also be employed by Chilean exporters this season. According to the official forecast made by the Chilean Cherry Committee of ASOEX, Chile will export 89,353,878 standardized 5 kg cartons or 446,769 metric tons of fresh cherries to the global market this season, increasing by 25% over the last season.

Images: ASOEX

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