The green light from Brussels means meat shipments from New Zealand are transiting through Singapore en route to markets in the European Union, according to an announcement yesterday by logistics giant Sats.
The meat goes through the Coolport, a perishable handling centre at Changi Airport, run by Sats.
Shipments will be broken down and reconsolidated for redistribution into EU markets.
Before the approval was given late last year for Sats to handle perishables originating from New Zealand, NZ meat had to be transported to the EU solely by sea, which was a lengthy journey, or by air, which cost 40 times more.
Now Sats can provide cheaper solutions, including shipping the meat here and then flying the repackaged product to EU markets.
This is expected to cost 60 per cent less than air freight for the entire journey. This is still 15 times more expensive than the entire journey by sea but flying meat all the way was 40 times pricier so considerable costs are being saved now.
The shelf life of the meat once in EU markets will be around two weeks longer.
The first air-sea transshipment of NZ lamb to Britain was handled by Sats in January, not long after the EU gave the firm its official approval, which was only announced yesterday. Trade agency IE Singapore and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority both supported the Sats initiative.
Mr Law Chung Ming, IE Singapore's group director for transport and logistics, told The Straits Times yesterday: "The new flow reaffirms Singapore's excellent connectivity, reliable supply chain capabilities and high quality food handling standards... creating a network effect to benefit Singapore companies in transport and logistics, food trading and financial services."
In addition, Mr Yacoob Piperdi, executive vice-president of gateway services at Sats, expects the new system to increase the meat transshipment traffic by at least 10 per cent in the next two years.
"We believe that this will translate into additional business for the airlines which serve Singapore as well as for us. More volume means more benefits for multiple stakeholders," he said.