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VX Logistics Opens Premier Fresh Hub in Shanghai
On April 18, the Shanghai cold chain industry witnessed the opening of an innovative new VX Logistics facility in the city’s Lingang Free Trade Zone. The grand opening was attended by a number of officials, as well as partners from Zespri, Driscoll’s, Goodfarmer, Joy Wing Mao, Fruitday, Huizhan Market and Haiguangxing Market, among others.
VX Shanghai Lingang Park specializes in fresh fruit cold chain operations and provides a comprehensive range of integrated services such as warehousing, ripening, packing and quality inspection. With an advantageous location near both Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Yangshan Port, which are 36 and 19 kilometers away, respectively, as well as the city’s urban area, which is approximately 60 kilometers from the facility, VX Shanghai Lingang Park is reportedly expected to become the city’s largest operations center for imported fruit.
The cold storage operational center is housed in a three-story building with a total area of approximately 37,000 square meters. The 12 separately refrigerated warehouses and 10 ripening depots maintain the temperatures required for specific types of fruit. In addition, the facility is equipped with independently operated ultrasonic humidifiers to allow for different climatic settings. All of the units have airtight doors to help maintain the operating conditions as efficiently as possible. To ensure an unbroken cold chain, the corridor area used by forklift vehicles to transfer the fruit is kept at a constant temperature of 1 to 7 degrees Celsius.
One of the park’s most notable initiatives is China’s first completely automated kiwifruit processing line, which was designed specifically for Zespri. VX Logistics and Zespri initiated the project in 2021, and after over a year of collaboration, the sorting and packing line went live this year. This season’s first consignment of Zespri kiwifruit from New Zealand, which was delivered to Shanghai by the Kowhai vessel on April 7, was processed at the new facility before being sent to retail venues through Zespri’s distributors and Sam’s Club. The sorting line is fitted with an optical identification technology that efficiently filters the batches and removes damaged fruit. The packaging procedure is also fully operated by machine. With the sorting, packing, labeling and other services included, the facility offers Zespri a processing capacity of around 200,000 trays per week.
Rahul Bagde, Zespri’s head of supply chain for Greater China, told Produce Report that with the new facility in place the company now has greater flexibility in local operations. He specifically mentioned fruit repacking for retail, which he believes has become more convenient. VX Shanghai Lingang Park intends to repack around 2 million trays out of the total 30 million trays of kiwifruit scheduled for China this year. According to Bagde, Zespri is generally satisfied with the outcome achieved through collaboration with VX Logistics. “We have a great partner who shares the same vision of skilling the infrastructure,” he said.
Driscoll’s, another major fruit customer of VX Logistics, also uses the services provided at the park. During the opening ceremony, Jae Chun, the company’s vice president and general manager in China, noted that the fresh fruit industry is largely reliant on quality, and that high quality requires the joint efforts and commitment of all partners. According to Chun, the company had sold over 100 million 125-gram clamshells of blueberries, and each of them, thanks to the efforts of VX Logistics, had left consumers with the right impression of the Driscoll’s brand and its products.
The facility’s intelligent energy consumption, which results in practically zero carbon emissions, was another distinctive feature highlighted during the ceremony. Electric defrosting methods and the use of recyclable wooden pallets and electric forklift vehicles all contribute to the park’s dedication to environmental sustainability. The rooftop, which is equipped with a solar power system, provides the facility with the electricity it needs for everyday operations. All of these practices help the park achieve almost carbon-neutral emissions, earning it LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
VX Logistics, founded in 2017 as a business unit of China’s real estate developer Vanke, currently operates 49 cold chain industrial parks across 28 cities in China. A similar fruit-focused facility, albeit considerably smaller in size, was previously launched in Xiamen and geared for Dole’s product demands. VX Logistics customers also include T&G Global and Camposol, as well as local distributors such as Pagoda, Freshippo (also known as Hema Fresh), Walmart, PuPu and Meituan, to name a few.
Images: VX Logistics
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