The presidents of the National Agricultural Society (SNA), Cristián Allendes; the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta), Jorge Valenzuela, and the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile (Asoex), Iván Marambio, held an emergency meeting following the announcement by the shipping companies of a new 25% increase in refrigerated maritime freight, which coincides with the start of the 2022-2023 cherry, blueberry, and nectarine export season.
"The price of refrigerated shipping has inexplicably increased. In addition, the shipping companies haven't complied with deadlines, so our products have arrived late and in poor conditions, and they haven't taken responsibility for this poor service. For the beginning of this season, the rate has increased by almost 100% over the last two years," stated the president of the SNA.
The new increase, which began this November, has generated confusion among fruit producers and exporters represented by SNA, Asoex, and Fedefruta, who point out that worldwide shipping rates have fallen sharply.
They also warn that this situation affects the profitability of agricultural production, putting at risk the more than 600,000 direct and indirect jobs it generates.
"We are in a period of very hard adjustment because the last two seasons were very complex due to the rise in costs, and the consequences that the logistical convulsion had on the condition of the fruit and the producers' income. Whatever it takes, we have to make this fruit season work for us,” stated Jorge Valenzuela, the president of Fedefruta.
"The increase in the costs of maritime freight surprises and worries us, especially because there is no basis to justify it as there is evidence of a contraction in the demand for ships at the international level, which leads to a fall in the prices of freight and containers," stated the president of ASOEX, Ivan Marambio.
Marambio added that this increase not only contradicts the signs of international trade but also all the work that has been promoted together with the logistics chain.