Some six tons of fresh lychee, harvested in Luc Ngan District, the northern province of Bac Giang, have arrived at the Rotterdam Port, the Netherlands after a five-week sea voyage, starting from late June.

 The first shipment by sea has arrived at the Rotterdam Port, the Netherlands. Photo: LTP Import Export B.V.

This is the first shipment by sea to the EU that was conducted by LTP Import Export B.V. (the Netherlands) through a packaging technology. It has brought the exporter success as the lychee stays fresh on the supermarket shelves for another two to three weeks.

Pham Van Hien, Director of LTP Import Export B.V. (the Netherlands) said the lychee was semi-processed according to European standards. Then, the fruit was dried and placed in plastic bags so that its flavor and freshness would be preserved for 45 days.

“The flavor is very fragrant and the fruit still retains its original pink color. We are very satisfied with this result”, Nguyen Thi Tra Linh, Deputy Director of LTP Import Export B.V. said.

According to the exporter, the total value of six tons of lychee plus the shipping fee to the EU amounts to about EUR33,000 ($39,000).

Vo Thi Ngoc Diep, Trade Counselor of Vietnam in the Netherlands said this is the first time that Vietnamese fresh lychees are exported by sea to the EU. It is a very important milestone for Vietnamese businesses to invest in a more methodical way and open up a new future of exporting fresh fruit to the European market in a sustainable way.

Fresh litchi and longan from Vietnam have been exported to the EU by air. The first shipment by sea, even at unusually high sea freight rates, is still cheaper than that by air.

Businesses can sell one kilogram of lychee in the European market at a price of one-third lower than the price of air-shipped lychee.

In late June, Vietnam exported a one-ton shipment of lychees harvested in Thanh Ha District, the northern province of Hai Duong to the Netherlands, from which the fruit was distributed to neighboring countries.