Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has initiated a feasibility study for accessing new markets by sea for its fresh fruits. The purpose of the logistical study is to generate a map with transit times to priority destinations. So far, 42 countries have been identified as being “priority destinations”. Of particular interest are the transit times between the Iberian Peninsula and the major markets of Brazil, the US, Canada and the UAE.
It entails around two weeks to reach Brazil, Canada or the east coast of the US by sea. Between January and September 2018, Spain exported 48,346 tons of fruit and vegetables to Brazil, of which 48,328 tons was sent by sea. Canada imported 42,308 tons (41,090 tons by sea), and the United States received 13,232 tons (10,905 tons by sea), according to FEPEX.
The perishability of fruits and vegetables is a crucial issue when considering lengthy transits to distant markets such as China, where the cold chain is still not at an advanced state. Depending on the city, it requires a journey of between four and six weeks to reach China. From January to September 2018, Spain exported 25,200 tons of fruits and vegetables to China, all of which was sent by sea.