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Yidu Group Pioneers New Model for Chile to China Fresh Fruit Shipment

March 12, 2018
Dan Siekman

Laded with more than 4,000 tons of fresh Chilean fruit, the Dundine Star refrigerated cargo ship docked last Friday at Shanghai Nangang Port.

Quarantine officials were on hand to start taking samples and, barring any unforeseen problems, the fruit was set to clear customs and quarantine within 24 hours, after spending only 25 days at sea. Also greeting the shipment were representatives from the sole importer, Dalian Yidu Group, as well as those from Swire Cold Chain Logistics, FruitEase, the Consulate General of Chile in Shanghai, and several Chilean fruit exporters.

They were gathered to mark the pioneering nature of this shipment of Chilean plums, nectarines, cherries, blueberries and table grapes. It is the first time multiple Chilean producers have banded together to send an ocean shipment "charter" style, where an entire reefer vessel is filled only with fruit and sails directly from Chile to China without making any other port calls, thus cutting several days off the shipping time.

The stakes were high in trying to bring together multiple producers to efficiently fill a ship with more than 3,500 pallets of five different types of fruit. To pull it off, Yidu leaned on its deep past experience with transporting Chilean fruit to China by air freight and standard ocean container shipping. But the added risk and complexity of this style of shipping fruit from Chile to China also comes with advantages, according to Ms. Nan Xia, director of sales for Yidu: "compared to normal containerized shipping, using this type of reefer ship provides much better temperature and humidity conditions," she told Produce Report. "This is only the way we can send fruit that is picked relatively ripe and still maintain its flavor and freshness from end to end."

"Only with the unceasing cooperation between Chinese and Chilean enterprises have we been able to build such a perfect channel for transporting fresh between two very distant countries," said Mr. Cesar Andres Suarez Sanchez, Commercial Consul for the Consul General of the Republic of Chile in Shanghai speaking at the ceremony held at Nangang Port to celebrate the shipment.

Shanghai Nangang Port was chosen as the offloading point for a variety of reasons. The port has specialized facilities and expertise in dealing with reefer ships, cold cargo, as well as integrated customs and quarantine clearance. It has received charter shipments in past years of Zespri kiwifruit sent from New Zealand. It is also relatively close to downtown Shanghai, and sits within a free trade zone that has been approved for fruit cross-border ecommerce.

According to data from Shanghai customs and quarantine authorities, in 2017 ports in Shanghai received just over a million tons of fresh fruit with a value of nearly USD 1.3 billion.

Article images: MZMC and Shanghai Nangang Port

 

 

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