Container prices from China to Europe have risen very quickly within a year, from 1400 to 14,000 dollars per container! How is that possible?! And why 10 times as much? What are the consequences for the fruit and vegetable sector? We asked these and more questions to our import trade expert.
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Why have container prices increased so extremely?

Every industry has seen some of this in a positive or negative way since COVID hit the world. Raw materials have become extremely expensive, such as wood, glass and metal.
As far as the import of fruit and vegetables is concerned, we notice this in the rising container prices that have an effect on the price of the products. Globally, there are only 5 container carriers that dominate the market. Prices of containers from China have risen the most, because that is the country where Europe gets most of their products from, but containers went back empty. Building containers has become far more expensive as well and therefore the situation on the market is leading to these extreme price increases.
Does this only apply to trade from China? Nope, the container prices to and from South America have also increased, because it is mainly shipped by the same handlers. Those container prices have not risen to the same level as in China, since a lot of trade also goes to South America, so that causes a bit more price compensation.

What is the impact fruit and vegetables on the price increase?

One of the fruits that is directly affected by this development is the Pomelo. The Pomelo season lasts for several months from September to March/April. As a result, the price difference is clearly visible this year compared to last year. Not very many Pomelos will fit in a container, as they are about the size of a melon. For instance a nashi pear is smaller and therefore more pieces go into a container and so the price per piece for the consumer will not increase as much as that of a Pomelo.

How do companies deal with this issue?

Pomelos are a bit more bitter and drier at the beginning of the season, but later in the season they become juicier and sweeter. The Pomelos are mainly sold in Germany, Romania, Poland and Russia in particular. Delivery programs have been adjusted to the demands of the large supermarkets, so the pre-orders are still going strong and no sounds have yet been heard that the Pomelos are being cancelled. The question is whether the consumer will pay the high price for the Pomelos. Are they going to buy an alternative or are they willing to pay this higher price. We all have to watch it over the next few weeks.

What customers can expect from the Pomelo:

  • The same quality and taste as they are used to. They are still grown with lots of love
  • A higher price in the supermarket.


Do you want to know more about this subject, do not hesitate to contact me:
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