MSC marks first shipment of avocados from Colombia to China

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has marked its first ever shipment of avocados from Colombia to China. The shipment of fresh avocados was loaded from the Port of Buenaventura on 28 May, and is being shipped on MSC’s Aztec service, with an expected arrival date of 29 June in Shanghai.

According to MSC, Colombia is a rising force in the global avocado trade, and is now the fourth largest producer of the Hass variety of avocados worldwide. The company supported this milestone shipment of avocados from Colombia to China for Mr Avocado, a Chinese supplier of ready-to-eat avocados.

Jonathan Zhu, managing director for MSC Greater China, commented: “Transporting perishables such as fruits and vegetables require a high level of care and expertise, and we are delighted that Mr Avocado has placed their trust in us for this inaugural shipment.”

Demand for avocado has been growing quickly in China. Chinese customs data revealed that avocado imports grew 34.4% from 32,000 tonnes in 2017 to 43,000 tonnes in 2018. Avocados are known for their nutritional and health benefits, and their versatility of use, making them one of the fast-growing produce items in the world.

MSC has a comprehensive global network, and has been facilitating the flow of goods from Latin America to China. The main important MSC has been shipping include meat, such as pork, beef and lamb; bananas; seafood like fish, shrimps and crabs; as well as other commodities such as cotton, paper and pulp, and timber.

“A significant amount of imports from Latin America are refrigerated food cargo,” Zhu said. “With our mature network in China, we are able to support refrigerated container transportation to a wide range of costal ports and inland destinations, enabling these food products to reach consumers across China.”

Globally, MSC has shipped over 1.8 million TEU of reefer (refrigerated) containers in 2019. To meet the growing international demand for reefer cargo services, MSC has also invested in refrigerated transport solutions. Earlier in February this year, MSC announced the addition of over 5,000 Star Cool units using Controlled Atmosphere (CA) technology. CA is an active process to regulate atmosphere composition to extend the shelf life, maintain the appearance, freshness and quality of perishable products such as apples, avocados and bananas.