What is dates logistics?
Dates or khajur is entitled ‘the fruit of the dessert’. The history of the date is as rich as its flavour. The date palm is largely distributed across dessert regions of North Africa and Middle East. It is one of the few cultivated plants that can grow in hot and dry conditions. Dates have been a staple in the diet of people for thousands of years and its trade started when Islamic and Jewish traders carried them while traveling the world.
Dates have been traded since olden days but the production and distribution has been modernized throughout the centuries. As per 2021 survey, Saudi Arabia was the leading exporter of dates with a value of about 322.84 million USD. Dates are generally exported in cargo shipments and must be certified for transport. Many people from the countryside are engaged in its cultivation and production. It is considered an economic pillar and part of the agricultural transformation programs in areas where only some trees can survive. The date palms were registered as intangible human cultural heritage in UNESCO in 2019.
Dates production and export
Egypt is the largest producer of dates globally; followed by Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Since 2014, Egypt Dates Production was up 1.8% year on year. In 2019, the country was ranked number 1 comparing other countries in Dates Production at 1,603,762 Metric Tons. Saudi Arabia, Iran and Algeria respectively ranked number 2, 3 and 4 in this ranking. Jordan witnessed the best average annual growth at +19.1% per year, while Spain recorded the worst performance at -18.5% per year.
During 2021-2022 market year, Saudi Arabia was the leading global exporter of fresh or dried dates, with an export value of about 322.84 million U.S. dollars. Israel was the second leading exporter, exceeding 317 million U.S. dollars of date fruit exports. The United States exported 44.5 million pounds of fresh dates valued at $109.4 million.
In 2021, India was the largest importer of dates worldwide, with imports valuing around 240 million U.S. dollars. The other importing countries are Mexico, Canada, and Australia.
What is procedure to ship Dates?
Dates require controlled temperatures, humidity, and good ventilation. At temperatures below 10°C there is a possibility for mite growth and exceeding 25°C may cause fermentation or syrup formation. Improper environments can also affect taste, colour darkening and blotchiness.
Dates are packages in paperboard cartons and boxes to use domestically and in barrels and bags for industrial use. The product should be transferred on pallets when packaged in corrugated or millboard cartons.
Since the packages are sensitive to impact and temperature, appropriate care must be taken during cargo handling. Standard containers / refrigerated containers are used, subject to compliance with lower limits for water content of goods, packaging, and container flooring. Containers should be stowed below deck to prevent the development of high temperatures and thus syrup formation.
In damp weather (rain, snow), the cargo must be protected from moisture, since this may lead to rot, fermentation, and tackiness. Cool, dry, good ventilation if required; high-quality dates like Medjoul, Deglet Noor, Piarom etc. are transported in cold stores.
Documents required for customs clearance
· Mate receipt
· Packing List
· Certificate of origin
· Shipping Bill
· Bill of handing
· Airway Bill
· Bill of Exchange
· Letter of Credit (L/C)
· Phytosanitary Certificate
· GLOBALGAP Certification
· Health Certificate
· GR Form
· Bank Realization Certification (BRC)
Dates have been a part of human history since almost 6000 years ago and have been essential in portraying many cultures. the palms provide multiple local and commercial uses in the tropical habitats where they are found. Palms provide various sources of food, including starches, oils, and sugars, as well as stimulants from the betel nut palm.
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