Potato shortage in Japan - US planes fly potatoes to Japan

Three Planes Loaded With Potatoes Fly To Japan To Help With The Country’s Shortage Of French Fries

A new kind of potato shortage hit Japanese supply chains which caused McDonald’s to ration fries. The reason given for this shortage of supply was the surge of COVID-19 cases in Canada. The spread of disease resulted in a halt of potato imports in Japan. The potatoes that McDonald’s Japan uses are grown in the United States and are shipped through the Canadian port. Given the current health conditions, this coordination was pretty difficult to maintain. This caused McDonald’s to announce that it would only sell small-sized French fries for some time in order to avoid shortages. It was a great setback, not only for the fast-food chain but also for the Japanese citizens.

There are more than 3000 McDonald’s restaurants in Japan. These McDonald’s outlets form the biggest Asian market for US potatoes. This shortage was affecting more people than imaginable. It was affecting the customers and the McDonald’s outlets in Japan, but at the same time, it would also have affected the United States’ frozen potato products market. The selling of small-sized French fries by McDonald’s Japan was not a long-term solution.

Solution Devised By An American Businessman

The cries of the French fries’ fans eventually grew louder and reached an American businessman, Ryan Peterson. Peterson is the CEO of Flexport which is a San Francisco-based international freight forwarding/customers brokering company.

potato shortage

This position led him to find a solution to Japan’s potato crisis. This ended up in an announcement that Flexport will fly three 747 loaded with potatoes to help the Japanese deal with the potato shortage.

potato shortage in Japan

Peterson further explained that the planes were otherwise to make empty return flights to Japan. Air mailing potatoes only made this scheduled trip more efficient. A commenter did the conversion and stated that this supply was efficient for 2.2 Million large-size orders of fries. This was indeed an immediate relief for the Japanese citizens.

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