"Very positive": Chilean experts analyze implementation and impacts of Blueberry Express
The Chilean blueberry industry has welcomed the recently announced agreement to implement a charter service which focuses on exporting fresh blueberries to the U.S. market, named the “Blueberry Express".
The service will launch on week 49 of the 2022-23 season, with specific boats shipping fresh blueberries to the U.S. market in less than two weeks.
Felipe Silva, President of the Chilean Blueberry Committee of ASOEX told PortalFrutícola.com: "An agreement with an industry group was reached, to guarantee the availability of volume to load charters in week 43."
"Volumes from main exporters will be combined in order to guarantee the early, fast ship service to the East Coast."
In terms of the logistical plan, Silva said: “The idea is to load in Valparaíso and also in Coronel. As an industry, we will load from week 49 to week 3 or 4, that’s 4,500 or 5,000 pallets per week being sent to the East Coast. We have been to convince the shipping industry that with this service, we will arrive quicker to the East Coast.”
“We are working with ports in Chile and the U.S.. This industry is quite fast to change,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Lucía Corbetto, Director of Allegría Foods y Osiris Plant Management said: "It is a very good alternative, I think that it is something that we, as an industry, should have done a long time ago, but it must come with other strategies [...].
"Besides this new alternative which is very positive, it is important to take responsibility for selecting quality products at the origin […] as well as fumigation and packaging in bulk. This also allows you to have more adequate packaging."
With regards to the current logistics crisis, Javier Contesse, General Manager of Allegria Foods commented: ‘The problem with the logistics crisis is the misinformation [...].
"There are very few certainties that can be guaranteed in terms of transit. In the past we would arrive in the second week of transit, but now it is difficult to provide an accurate arrival time.’
The U.S. remains the leading market for Chilean blueberries, receiving around half of exports. It is followed by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, China and South Korea.