The ship carried 4,000 metric tons (MT) of fruit supplied by 30 Chilean exporters and was received by authorities and business people from both countries, alongside port operators and Chinese import agents.
The shipment was made up of five fruits – blueberries, cherries, nectarines, table grapes and plums.
In a release, the government said that in 2012 China-based fruit importer Dalian Yidu Group pioneered the use of charter flights for Chile-origin produce. Since then, this form of transport has become one of the most-used ways of exporting fruit.
The Chilean Government said the first charter vessel shipment was expected to have a “wide-ranging impact” and could greatly influence how Chilean fruit is sent to China.
“In 2017 Chile began the main exporter, by value, of fresh fruit to the Chinese market,” said Chile’s commercial attaché in Shanghai, Cesar Suarez.
“To achieve that position, considering that the countries are located on opposite sides of the plant, logistics become very import. The transport times and the demand for fruit in high-season require huge efforts to supply Chinese consumers.
“Therefore, the possibility of having charter ships as well as charter flights, which have become very successful, will undoubtedly help Chilean fruit to reach Chinese consumers in the conditions, timings and quantities that they are increasingly demanding.”