A box of fresh, red, and crispy cherries – for many Chinese, this is the ideal gift for the traditional Chinese New Year. A large part of the sweet fruits comes from growing regions in Chile, as the harvest season there is particularly close to the Chinese New Year. Approximately 70 million crates of cherries await shipment to the Middle Kingdom every year from the end of November onwards.

But even more interesting than their origin is the way in which the perishable produce makes its way from Latin American plantations to Chinese shelves. The key to this lies in a perfect supply and cold chain.

The fastest way to China

As the inventor of the "Cherry Express", Hamburg Süd pioneered the fast and punctual delivery of the delicate fruit to China seven years ago. Thanks to timetable optimization and faster sailing speeds, it was possible to shorten the ocean transport by a whole week. Instead of 28, the cherries were only 22 days on the way.

New solutions for both ends of the supply chain are always in demand. Therefore, we have listened carefully to our customers and the wishes of exporters and importers alike to better understand their specific needs. As a result of this process and thanks to our affiliation with Maersk, we were able to offer our customers cherry transport by air for the first time in the 2022 season, speeding up the transport of fresh cherries even further.


Truly integrated end-to-end logistics

Being in close touch with our customers and partners led to some more solutions, which Hamburg Süd also offered for the first time in 2022. For example, during the harvest in Chile season, there is now an extra rail service that brings the cherry containers from the main growing areas to the export port by the shortest route. Also on offer are a number of additional digital tools and logistics services such as our reefer monitoring application Captain Peter, various Booking Services and Value Protect which enables customers to protect the value of their cargo against logistics-related risks during its transportation.

And it doesn’t stop here: There are also some novelties in the importing country. For example, Nansha as a new import port means that the central Chinese fruit hub can be reached even faster and more reliably. Hamburg Süd now also offers customs clearance in Nansha and inland transports by truck to the final destination of the cargo.

All this makes our Cherry Express a true end-to-end cold chain solution – and a win-win situation for exporters, importers, and not the least, Chinese cherry lovers.


Please visit our logistics solutions page to find out more about our integrated end-to-end services for you.