China air cargo capacity squeezes US crab exports, fruit growers next
THE rate to ship crabs from the Pacific Northwest has rocketed 242 per cent from January US$5
18 March 2020 - 19:00
The fallout from the coronavirus scare has nearly shut down the Pacific Northwest Dungeness crab export market to China, but tenacious seafood shippers can still sell crabs into Shanghai if they're willing to pay four times as much for air cargo shipping.
The travails of crab shippers underscore the larger and devastating impact the virus is having on North American exporters that face higher outbound air cargo rates because of the the removal of belly cargo capacity on passenger jets.
The scarcity in North America-China air cargo capacity also spells trouble for cherry and other fruit exporters as summer harvest nears.
Unsurprisingly, Chinese demand for crabs also fell as consumers quarantined themselves and curbed their seafood purchases.
'Most of China's restaurants are closed and one family member is allowed to go outside to get food, but the last thing they are looking for is live Dungeness crab,' Pete Beckett, founder-president of SAT Sea & Air Transport, a Seattle-based freight forwarder specialising in perishables.
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