As we enter May, the business activities of foreign companies in Shanghai are steadily restarting and, with the gradual improvement of logistics problems, the transportation and sales of imported fruits are gradually recovering. During the pandemic, due to the limited logistics supply chain capacity, residents mainly consumed conventional domestic fruits, but in fact, the market demand for imported fruits has always existed, and now they are returning to consumers' dining table.
Logistics is gradually smooth
New Zealand Rockit Apple said: "At present, the logistics have been greatly improved compared with the initial stage of closure and control, mainly due to the increase in the number of vehicles guaranteed by supply companies and other passes, and the validity period of the pass has been extended from 2 days originally to more than 7 days. Overall, Rockit Apple is providing a complete 'four passes' to operate normal circulation and sale on the shelves."
"The most obvious thing is that the frequency of our shipments has gradually increased. Although it has not reached half of the normal volume on weekdays, it has gradually improved after a month and a half of stagnation."
Malaiwang, which focuses on importing Musang King durians from Malaysia, said, "With the gradual resumption of work and production in Shanghai, many logistics couriers cooperating with the company are in the first batch of whitelists for resumption of work, and the logistics of situation is also smooth."
From the point of view of sales channels, at present, the recovery of Malaiwang is better through offline channels. The online e-commerce platform has been slow to resume due to the problem of express delivery time because if the express delivery cannot guarantee timeliness, it is easy to cause excessive thawing of durians and problems with the fruit.
The recovery of various sales channels of Rockit apples is relatively obvious, and the order quantity has increased significantly. "Recently, orders in Shanghai have recovered rapidly, although there is still a big gap compared with the same period last year. In terms of online sales, Ele.me and community group purchases have become important purchasing channels, and sales have increased significantly. It is expected that by the end of this week, offline fruit stores such as Xianfeng, and Pagoda will resume business on a large scale.”
Rockit Apple has recently been actively preparing for the resumption of the market. Recently, the company has also obtained the co-authorization of one of the well-known IPs of Universal Pictures, hoping to boost sales with a series of consumer-friendly marketing campaigns.
Demand has not gone away
In March of this year, the sudden pandemic interrupted the original supply chain system of Rockit Apple. In terms of imports, Shanghai was originally the distribution and transshipment center in East China, but it was difficult for trucks to leave Shanghai, and there were restrictions on the passage of Shanghai goods from other places. Therefore, the supply of the entire East China region was greatly affected.
According to Rockit Apple, the local market demand in Shanghai has indeed declined during the pandemic, and the bottleneck is the lack of supply chain capacity. Mainly caused by three factors: the closure of fruit wholesale markets and transit warehouses in Shanghai and surrounding areas; only a small number of supermarkets and other guaranteed supply companies can provide fruit logistics services; residents' demand is biased towards conventional domestic fruit, and the demand for imported high-end fruit has plummeted.
Similarly, according to Malaiwang, during the pandemic, both Malaysia and China's import logistics have encountered very severe challenges. However, the company does not think that the market demand has declined, and the emergence of B2T has made the overall market demand relatively stable.
It is worth mentioning that the loss caused by fluctuations in demand and the shortage of manpower is still the main problem faced by importing fruit merchants at this stage.
Malaiwang believes that at present, the biggest difficulty encountered in the process of resuming work and production is the unstable sales volume. Even though the demand in the entire market is not low, due to the increase in logistics costs and personnel costs, the goods in some markets are not delivered in time, and the price of the the remaining goods has risen due to the small quantity, which has caused certain fluctuations in the market.
Rockit Apple said that at present, the company's labor force is tight, and many personnel are still under quarantine and prevention measures. The prevention and disinfecting measures are complicated, the market operation is still relatively closed, and demand fluctuations cause losses. In addition, the number of logistics vehicles still cannot meet the demand, and the transportation cost is high, which is 3-4 times of the same period last year.