Final Zespri™ Kiwifruit Charter of the Season Departs; Alastair Hulbert Comments
NEW ZEALAND - A fantastic season is on the horizon for Zespri™ as the grower says “bon voyage.” The grower recently cheered off its last charter vessel carrying some of the final volumes of kiwifruit. Zespri’s last vessel of this season’s New Zealand crop has now departed the Port of Tauranga, bound for Tokyo and Kobe in Japan.
“This has been a really challenging season given the ongoing impact of COVID-19 across the global supply chain, as well as the need to manage our fruit quality,” Chief Global Supply Officer Alastair Hulbert said. “We’ve faced significant shipping congestion and container shortages at a number of international ports, and we’ve been fortunate that our long-standing partnerships and charter vessels have allowed us to avoid much of this congestion. We’re incredibly thankful for the support we’ve received from all of our partners and our industry colleagues, and look forward to shipping the last of this season’s New Zealand crop to our customers over the next couple of weeks.”
This time around, nearly 158 tons (~348K pounds) of Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit and 2,231 tons (~4.9M pounds) of Zespri Green Kiwifruit were onboard the charter reefer vessel MV Kowhai and is expected to reach Tokyo by the end of this month, with the season’s final container shipments scheduled to conclude over the coming weeks.
“We were fortunate to have made arrangements to be able to ship our fruit to a second port in Taizhou this year, which is around 400 km south of Shanghai, allowing us to continue to supply local customers with fruit and avoid the lockdowns in Shanghai,” Hulbert said. “We also established a new direct shipping service to the West Coast of North America this season as part of a joint venture initiative with T&G Global and Bostock New Zealand, helping reduce transport times considerably to what is an increasingly important market for Zespri.”
Zespri will be transitioning to fruit from its Northern Hemisphere partners in Italy, France, Greece, Korea, and Japan. The grower will also be launching a new shipping service in partnership with Cool Carriers, and that work was already well underway on planning next season’s shipping schedule.
Learn more about the last charter and plans for next season here.
Keep an eye out for ANUK to report on the latest.