This cherry export season began with high expectations at San Antonio Terminal Internacional (STI), Chile’s main port, operated by SAAM Terminals and SSA Marine. Fifteen Cherry Express vessels will sail, representing nearly 50% of the total cherries to be exported from Chilean ports.
The chairman of STI’s board, Mauricio Carrasco, remarked, “Our terminal is Chile’s main port and the main point of departure for cherries. Our mission is to connect the efforts of so many Chileans with the world and ensure that the fruit is shipped in the best possible way to reach its destination.”
Frutas de Chile President Iván Marambio said, “We are very pleased to officially launch our cherry exports. Despite the effects of various weather events, we believe it will be a good season for the sector and Chile.”
National Director of the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) José Guajardo noted, “We are all involved in this effort. It started many months ago in the orchards, in the fruit and has passed through many hands and states. Thanks to the dedication of many people, it arrived here at the port and will reach tables in China and other major ports that are expecting the fruit.”
STI General Manager Rodrigo Galleguillos added, “We know these are critical months for exporters, whose product is in high demand. Our workers are especially committed to making this season successful with safe, efficient and excellent service. We have drafted a special plan to approach it.”
Similarly, Ricardo Rodríguez, terminal worker and Chilean Port Union spokesperson, remarked, “We know how important cherries are to Chilean exporters and their significance in Asian markets. We also understand the particular importance of their arrival date. We want to assure the parties that STI terminal workers will make the necessary efforts to ensure that each fruit container arrives at its destination on the appointed date in the specified condition.”
San Antonio Terminal Internacional is in the midst of a US$15 million project that will provide the terminal with 27 new reefer towers. In addition, technological and infrastructure improvements have enhanced security standards and cargo traceability (biometric scanners, license plate readers and new STS and RTG cranes early this year).
The Asian market demand for cherries grows at this time of the year. Chilean cherries are sought after and gifted to symbolize a good omen and prosperity in the New Year. This year, 2024, celebrations will be on February 10.