Thanks to chartered planes, Chilean cherries are now reaching China every week. With weekly arrivals at Zhengzhou airport, in the capital of China’s central Henan Province, the fruits are then distributed to the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other second-tier cities in the country, according to Xinhuanet.com.
Chilean cherries used to take over 100 hours to arrive on regular passenger flights and connecting cargo planes, with travel time taking over 100 hours on a single trip. The high logistical costs led to high prices. The chartered flights have allowed transit time to be cut to just 30 hours.
Logistics efficiency was further improved with the service offered by the Zhengzhou terminal, where customs offers a quick access channel for fruit, allowing Chinese customers to acquire fresh Chilean cherries, said Huang Xianhua, deputy secretary general of the fruit division of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Food Products, Native Products and Animal By-Products (CFNA).
“The company trialled with two chartered flights in 2014, and now the number of chartered flights has reached 140,” said Huang, who is also the general manager of Shanghai Oheng Import & Export Co. Ltd. Fushun Fruit SpA has been exporting Chilean cherries to China for three years. Alonso Xu, general manager of the company, said they expect to reach 1,000 tons this year as the company’s total export amount.
There has been a Free Trade Agreement in place between China and Chile since 2006, and its latest version allows Chilean cherries to enter the Chinese market with a 0% tariff.