New service allows U.S. to quickly export tons of temperature-sensitive cherries

Global Business

Four hundred metric tons of cherries from the U.S. state of Washington can be shipped directly to consumers in China within 72 hours of being picked, thanks to a new charter service from China Eastern Airlines and its e-commerce website partner. As Chris Casquejo explains, trade groups believe demand in China will only grow for fresh agricultural products sold directly to consumers through websites.

For the past six weeks, China Eastern Airlines cargo planes have been hauling an average of 70 tons of cherries from Seattle to Shanghai.

It’s all part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s effort to export more temperature-sensitive food products to Chinese markets. Consumers who visit China Eastern’s e-commerce site order the cherries, which sell for about $42 U.S. for a 2.5 kilogram container, and can get them delivered faster than domestic customers can get them in the Eastern U.S.

U.S. exporting temperature sensitive Cherries

Four hundred metric tons of cherries from the U.S. state of Washington can be shipped directly to consumers in China within 72 hours of being picked, thanks to a new charter service from China Eastern Airlines and its e-commerce website partner. As Chris Casquejo explains, trade groups believe demand in China will only grow for fresh agricultural products sold directly to consumers through websites. CCTV’s Chris Casquejo reports.

China Eastern Airlines plans to continue charter flights carrying cherries, even as the season winds down in the American northwest. The cargo plane will also carry fruit from British Columbia, Canada. The China Eastern cherry flights will continue until the end of September. Experts in U.S.-China trade believe this delivery system was long overdue. Kristi Heim leads the Washington State China Relations Council.

“The demand for products from all over the world, especially healthy ones, is growing. Washington farmers would like to access those markets,” said Kristi Heim, executive director of the Washington State China Relations Council. “Through this service with charter airplanes and e-commerce ordering, I think we can connect those consumers and producers very effectively.”

The Northwest Cherry Growers won’t know how much of an impact the weekly cherry charter will have on sales until the end of the growing season. Earlier this year, Alibaba’s Tmall sold 168 tons of Northwest cherries in less than two weeks.