"We could have a shortage of containers if situation in China persists"

Concerns for the fruit export sector seem not to stop. Congestion in China's distribution chain, as a result of coronavirus, adds a possible global shortage of containers for Chile.

"There is indeed a lower availability of refrigerated containers, due to the lower movement in the ports of China due to Covid-19 and the extension of the Chinese New Year holidays. Today, there is a congestion of containers in the Chinese market, and not only for our fruit, but also for another countries and products that use refrigerated containers. We believe if the flow is not regularized there could be a lack of containers from April or March of this year," said Ronald Bown Fernández, President of ASOEX.

"This is a situation that shipping companies, as well as customers understand and are constantly checking. We hope this shortage of containers does not happen. The country experienced a lack of containers two seasons ago, and it could be managed, but if from China the containers do not begin to return the situation could mean a big complexity," he added.

Bown said the big congestion in the ports of Shanghai and Tianjing, has implied sending ships to alternative ports like Hong Kong, among others. This situation has forced exporting companies to change all export documentation (BL, Origin and Phytosanitary Certificates), matter in which a timely and valuable collaboration of public services (SAG, Customs, and ProChile) has been received.

Finally, Ronald Bown  said: "Today  in China,  there are in stock 2,106 containers of Chilean fruits to sell. 1,465 containers are cherries, 325 nectarines, 158 blueberries, 97 plums, 41 avocados, and 21 table grapes."

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