One of the leading growers, packers and exporters of mangoes from Ecuador, Durexporta S.A. is set to increase their supply with 20% to their key markets the US and Canada this season by exporting up to 5 million boxes. However, for Juan Xavier Huerta, Commercial Manager of Durexporta, “the 30% increase in shipping line rates to both the US East and West coasts is a major issue, as growers we will suffer a big decrease in turnover due to the increased costs.”
Exportaciones Durexporta S.A. is a family owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, which opened operations in the year 1991 as the first Hot Water Treatment plant in that country for mangoes packed and exported to the US market. Their mango production is close to 20,000 tons per season. They have three main varieties: Tommy Atkins (75% of production), Ataulfo (15% of production), Kent (7% of production) and Keitt (3% of production). They also grow and export other exotic fruits such as bananas and plantains.
“Our main market is definitely the United States. Our fruit sells in supermarkets such as Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Sam’s Club, Target, Aldi, Sprouts, among others. We are expecting a 20% increase in the volume for the 2022 season. We plan to pack around 5 million mango boxes in our facility, between our fruit and the co-packing services we offer. Our key markets are: USA & Canada - 90%, South and Central America - 6% (Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras) and New Zealand - 4%,” states Huerta.
“We have a major issue for this year, and it is that shipping lines are increasing their costs by about 30%. So, if last year you had a freight for example at $5,700, for the current year it is expected to be $7,800. Sadly, there is little to be done on this matter, and the growers will suffer a big decrease in the turnover due to the increased costs. This happens mostly because the costs have increased, but market prices have remained the same. It is what we are seeing also for the Mexican mango season, and what we expect will happen for the Brazil season as well.”
He says their pack house is currently designed with top of the line equipment for packing all sorts of fruits. “Our Plant Manager Jorge Salvador, designed the new equipment. We have an automatic calibre, a machine where you can set the fruit weights per size, and create packing lines dedicated to a single fruit size. And for our current mango season, we bought an automatic calibre for the reception area as well. This will allow us to separate the fruit lots in a more efficient way, which will make us save a lot of money on fruit rejections at reception as well as saving time in order to make the process more efficient. During the mango peak, which usually comes in November, we are able to pack and dispatch up to 25 containers per day,” explains Huerta.
“Once Ecuador’s mango season is over, we continue to work the Peru Mango season, which starts around November, with our exporting company Durexporta SAC. We pack around 70 containers from Peru, but for the current year we plan to increase it to 120-150 containers. It is important to be able to continue supplying fruit to your customers. We are also close to our export markets, therefore the logistics is not that hard to handle for us,” concludes Huerta.