According to Chinese media, the first ever sea shipment of Chilean cherries bound for China’s Shandong province pulled into the Port of Qingdao at 1 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2021, after a 28-day sea journey.
Local customs officials got in touch with the importers of the shipment long before the fruit arrived and established a green channel to expedite customs clearance and maintain the highest levels of fruit freshness. Owing to all of this preparatory work, the first batch of cherries from this shipment were able to reach an agricultural trading hub in Qingdao’s Jimo District by 11 a.m.
In recent years, the Port of Qingdao has been dealing with an increasing number of imported fruits, including peaches from Australia, bananas from the Philippines, longans and durians from Thailand, oranges from Egypt and South Africa, and dragon fruit from Vietnam. In northern China, Qingdao ranks third after only Beijing and Zhengzhou in terms of sales of imported cherries.
Previously, Chilean cherries had to be shipped to Hong Kong, Guangzhou or Shanghai first then transported onward to Qingdao by land. Direct sea shipment to Qingdao is anticipated to cut the total transit time by three days and save approximately 20,000 Chinese yuan ($3,100) per container. Furthermore, this mode of transportation also helps to avoid the need for repackaging, resulting in superior quality and freshness.
Industry insiders estimate that the Port of Qingdao will receive another 1,000 metric tons of Chilean cherries by Chinese New Year on Feb. 1, 2022.
This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.