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Zhengzhou Becomes Leading Distribution Hub for Imported Fruit Air Shipments

April 29, 2019

Wanbang International Agricultural Products Logistics Park

The city of Zhengzhou in Henan province has been attracting attention as an important trade hub for imported fruits in the central China region. Produce Report recently had the chance to hear from Mr. Li Hongguo of Zhengzhou Chen’s Sun Fruit and Vegetable Trading Company, one of China’s leading distributors of imported fruits. Mr. Li shared his inside perspective with Produce Report on key developments in inland China’s imported and high-end fruit market. The following are some of his insights.

Zhengzhou’s geographic position in central China has always made it an attractive trade and distribution center, but developments in the logistics and shipping industries in recent years have turned Zhengzhou into a significant center for the trade and distribution of imported fresh fruits, especially those entering China via air.

Zhengzhou is the capital city of Henan, China’s most populous province, and host to the country’s fifth free trade area officially designated by China’s State Council following those in Shanghai, Fujian, Tianjin, and Guangdong. While also an important hub for road and rail transportation, the Zhengzhou International Airport is central China’s largest airport, one of China’s four leading ports of entry for air freight shipments, and the third most important port of entry for imported fruits after Guangzhou and Shanghai. In 2017, the Zhengzhou airport cleared 8,000 tons of fresh fruit, doubling its volume over 2016. Among those imports, fruits from the United States accounted for 5,700 tons representing 70% of all imported fruit entering China by air. Zhengzhou is currently China’s leading distribution hub for fresh fruit air shipments to China.

Zhengzhou’s advantageous position as a transportation hub

Zhengzhou’s Wanbang International Agricultural Products Logistics Park is central China’s largest fresh produce wholesale market. With a total planned area covering more than 53 hectares, the market is 3 times larger than Beijing’s Xinfadi market, and 8 times larger than Guangzhou’s Jiangnan market. Distribution from the Wanbang market can reach approximately 15-20% of China’s total population. Although consumption levels in the regions it covers may not be as high as those in first tier cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, transportation can change China’s economic landscape, and one can easily foresee Zhengzhou’s increasing importance as a transportation center contributing to the city’s economic development.

In the past, central China’s fruit market was primarily for domestic products while trade in imported fruits was very low. However, in recent years, international direct sourcing strategies have caused imported fruit sales in the Henan region to grow rapidly. In 2017, 70% of air shipments of cherries entered China via Zhengzhou, after which many were then shipped to Guangzhou and Shanghai. In the past couple of years, cherry sales have increased rapidly. Those arriving by sea are much cheaper with a single distributor able to sell several containers per day.

Fresh fruit charter flight arriving in Zhengzhou

Chen’s Sun entered the fresh fruit industry in 1992. Since 2001, the company has integrated fruits from all over the world into its product offerings and established itself as a global brand. Now based in the Wanbang market, Chen’s Sun is cultivating the fresh fruit markets of Zhengzhou and the central China region while further establishing its national and global position as an important player in China’s imported fruit trade.

Chen’s Sun banner in wholesale market

Supermarket promotion

Chen’s Sun team

Image source: Chen’s Sun Fruit and Vegetable Trading Company

Wanbang International Agricultural Products Logistics Park


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