Mexican agricultural products are now able to reach the Canadian market in just five hours after Korean Air opened a new cargo route linking the cities of Guadalajara and Vancouver.
Flights run three times a week and are dedicated to transporting up to 200 tonnes per week of agricultural products.
The first one took off yesterday during an event attended by federal Agriculture Secretary José Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa, who predicted the service, with no stopovers in the United States, will trigger a significant increase in Mexican exports of perishable goods to Canada.
It will carry about US $2 million worth of products from Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, Sonora and Michoacán every week.
Calzada also forecast that those exports will grow 20% annually.
Until now, such goods had to travel through the United States where they would either await transfer to another flight or travel on by truck, taking as long as 11 days to arrive, said José Medina Blanc of the logistics firm Going.
The Korean Air flight has the added benefit of connecting in Vancouver with flights to Seoul, the capital of South Korea, carrying Mexican products closer to the broader Asian market, particularly those of China and Japan.
During 2016, the main agricultural exports to Canada were comprised of fresh, refrigerated and some frozen fruits, vegetables and meat, particularly products such as guavas, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, coffee, fish and beef.
During the inaugural flight ceremony, Jalisco Governor Jorge Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz explained that the new route is part of a comprehensive national policy through which Mexican products are being sold in 160 countries.
“Directing our sights north [to the United States] was a mistake. Looking at the rest of the world is the right answer,” he said.
“An example of this is the impressive growth of perishable goods [exports] to destinations different from the United States. Foreign vegetable trade has grown 122% between January and April when compared to the same period last year,” remarked Sandoval.
As a result of this new policy, exports of perishable goods now represent 15% of cargo operations in Guadalajara, where electronics once dominated with 90%, added the governor.