Serving up Hokkaido scallops: DHL Global Forwarding introduces air charters to Hong Kong

Re-establishing this key export route will help seafood producers in Hokkaido reach consumers in China and Hong Kong

TOKYO, JAPAN – Media OutReach – 29 June 2020 – For scallop
producers in Hokkaido, which is a key source for importers of the premium
delicacy, June typically marks the beginning of a new
harvest season
that ends in October. However, since the authorities started
imposing travel restrictions due to Covid-19, exporters from the region were
unable to fly scallops and other perishables directly to Hong Kong, the top
of Japanese agricultural and marine products and a gateway to
China, which saw overall seafood imports increase
by 39%
in 2019 to ¥1.6 trillion (€13.3 billion).


DHL Global Forwarding launched a thrice-weekly charter from
Chitose to Hong Kong. The charter is the only direct air freight service from Hokkaido’s
main international airport to Hong Kong since airlines halted international
flights from the airport. Japan has seen its year-on-year export
of seafood fall
from ¥22.9 billion to ¥14.9 billion in April this year.


“As countries took time to recover and travel restrictions
remained firmly in place for weeks before being gradually lifted, there was an
urgent demand to bring fresh perishable seafood to consumers outside of Japan. As
one of the leading international forwarders in Japan’s seafood trade, I am extremely
proud that we were able to work with our partners to swiftly organize the first
direct freight service from Chitose to Hong Kong. With an export pathway
established for perishables, including scallops, sea cucumber and melons,
producers in Hokkaido can be assured that their harvests will reach consumers
in a timely manner and in their optimum states,” said Charles Kaufmann, CEO,
North Asia South Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding and President/Representative
Director, DHL Global Forwarding Japan K.K.


For the leading international
provider of air, sea and road freight services, scallops make up the largest
portion of seafood that it ships out of Japan and primarily from Hokkaido, a
top producer of seafood in the country. Japan has seen its domestic consumption
of seafood decrease by more than 20% and has been actively pushing its seafood
overseas to support its 1.4
trillion yen (€10 billion) seafood industry


In May 2019, DHL Global Forwarding marked
its 50th anniversary in Japan with the opening of its wholly-owned
office in Chitose. The freight forwarder’s dedicated presence in Hokkaido provides
critical customs expertise to local businesses exporting to overseas markets, and guarantee
the quality of the seafood by using reliable state-of-the-art cold chain


Note to editors:

Scallops dominated seafood exports for Japan in 2018,
with the country’s northernmost island of Hokkaido netting the bulk of it. The
island accounted for up to 80 percent of domestic scallop production and 20
percent of the country’s overall seafood production.
Read more about the challenges and opportunities
that the scallop industry in Hokkaido is facing on Logistics of Things.

News Source: MediaOutreach



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