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India: Andhra Pradesh fruits get direct shipping facility to UK

In a first, fresh fruits were exported directly from Visakhapatnam Port to the United Kingdom through container shipment. Two consignments carrying 19,000 kg of watermelon and 12,000 kg of mangoes produced by farmers from coastal Andhra Pradesh were packed and loaded in containers by a Vizag-based logistics company via Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited (VCTPL) for two ports in the UK.

The move is expected to encourage production by local farmers by procuring from them in bulk, in a single consignment. Watermelon, pineapple and bananas will soon be shipped for consumers in other European countries.

Speaking to TOI, Anil Narayanan, deputy chief operating officer (COO) of VCTPL said: "Vizag is a gateway port for containers and direct shipment is available from Vizag to European countries though fruits have never been shipped before. They used to be sent through trans-shipment in Colombo. This month, we sent the first consignment of fruits in refrigerated containers to UK on trial ships maintaining the ideal temperature so that the fruits remain fresh for the month-long journey. Depending on its success, more varieties of fruits can be directly shipped from Vizag to other European countries.”

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