Posted on July 5, 2024

During the peak sweet cherry season starting in June, freighter aircraft operations at Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac) experience a significant increase.
Washington state which produces approximately 90% of the United States’ sweet cherries, becomes a hub for export, particularly utilizing Boeing freighter aircraft.

Export of high-quality cherries can achieve retail prices of up to $40 per kg primarily in overseas markets. Annually, the Pacific Northwest exports about 40,000 tonnes of cherries, equivalent to the capacity of roughly 400 fully loaded 777 freighters.

China, South Korea, and Southeast Asia are noted as the primary destinations for these exports, with the goal of transitioning cherries from field to shelf within 48 hours to maintain quality.

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