Sea-Tac Airport cargo workers push a pallet of freight onto the loading ramp of an Air China Cargo 747-400F.

Sea-Tac Airport cargo workers push a pallet of freight onto the loading ramp of an China Airlines Cargo 747-400F

In what has become an annual early-summer ritual at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, air cargo operators serving Asian ports have increased operations in Seattle for the duration of the roughly two-month long Washington state cherry harvest.

Pallets of cherries destined for Asian markets await shipment at a Port of Seattle warehouse.

Pallets of cherries destined for Asian markets await shipment at a Port of Seattle warehouse

Carriers making stops in Seattle to pick up pallets of Washington cherries include EVA Air Cargo, NCA, China Airlines Cargo, and Singapore Airlines Cargo. Freighter loads vary, but seldom are the large jets filled solely with cherries; mixed loads are far more common, especially as routes can include stops in one or more U.S. cities before crossing the Pacific.

Exports to Asia in July, primarily cherries, can be five times the amount of tonnage shipped on the most active airline at Sea-Tac, according to the Port of Seattle’s Brian DeRoy. Other Asian airlines usually see volume increases of two to three times their normal monthly tonnage.

Approximately 20 percent of the total Washington cherry crop is exported outside of North America, and 98 percent of those exports are shipped via air. Next time you are enjoying some cherries (or any other fruit) stop and think about the flying adventures it might have had.

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CORRESPONDENT - SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aviation, and commercial photographer, a freelance photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

http://www.zeraphoto.com
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6 Comments
Michael Berch

Enjoyed the “fruity freight flies” article very much, but please note that the first photo (loading a 747-400) shows a China Airlines Cargo (Taiwan) aircraft, not Air China Cargo (PRC).

Hi Michael, you are absolutely correct, and I’ve already made the correction. Thanks very much for pointing it out.

Michael Berch

Thanks, Francis, looks good. (Feel free to delete my comment if you prefer.) Cheers!

Hi Michael, I’m not so vain as to think I don’t make mistakes; there’s no need to delete anything, but thanks for the offer, and thanks very much for reading!

Phoenix

Another illustration of how two seemingly unrelated industries support and benefit each other like an ecosystem.

Nicely written and shot Francis!

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