Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has introduced an express service for cherry and fresh fruit cargo from Chile to Asia. To reinforce the express service offering, MSC will also deploy two more vessels exclusively for weeks 49 and 51.
The Cherry Express service will run as a joint carrier agreement, connecting Asia and the west coast of Latin America. The service will connect Valparaiso, Chile with a transit time to Hong Kong in 23 days. Shipments will arrive in Nansha and Shanghai in 25 and 26 days respectively, via transshipment from Hong Kong. In addition, shippers can utilize MSC’s feeder network to reach other Southeast Asia destinations.
Chile is the single largest supplier of cherries to China with Chilean cherry season running from November to January, which is often close to the Chinese New Year. The ASOEX (Fruit Exporters Association of Chile) Cherry Committee estimates a growth of 36% in exports for the 2020-2021 season, as compared the previous season, despite fears of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This translates to approximately 15,500 container loads of cherries.
Cristian Montenegro, Commercial Director of MSC Chile commented: “We’re very excited about the launch of the Cherry Express service. With the introduction of two complementary vessels and the support of our MEDLOG depots in Chile, MSC will be able to reinforce this service by maintaining a constant flow of containers for our export customers.”
“Cherries have become an increasingly popular fruit in China as consumer spending power rises across the country. Furthermore, the timing of the Cherry Express leads up nicely to the Chinese New Year. Red Chilean cherries are especially popular during this period with consumers as the red fruit symbolises prosperity and fortune,” said Pikkei Yuen, Inbound Sales Manager, MSC Hong Kong/South PRC/Taiwan.
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