Although not a seaside port, the city of Hunchun that sits on China's borders with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Russia has benefitted from crab trade with Russia.
The Kamchatka-Zarubino-Hunchun flight that opened last year has enabled daily transportation for fresh king crabs and other seafood products from Russia, while they were previously transferred via Busan, the Republic of Korea before entering China.
The city imported 3,000 tonnes of king crabs, worth of 549 million yuan (80 million U.S. dollars), up 464 percent year on year, in the first seven months.
With a booming demand for high-quality seafood in the China market, the inland city in northeast China's Jilin Province has become a burgeoning seafood center in northeast Asia.
"Russian king crabs have become a new highlight of Hunchun's border trade," said Quan Guinan, head of the Foreign Trade Department of Hunchun's Bureau of Commerce.
Wang Jindong, manager of Hunchun's Hehe Seafood Market, said fresh king crabs used to be a luxury for Chinese crab lovers because of the high cost of transportation. The introduction of the flight last year made the seafood much cheaper. There is a big market demand for quality seafood.
Wang's company began importing king crabs through this route in 2017, with a daily trade volume of nearly 50 tonnes.
"All of the daily imports can be sold the same day," he said. His company also transfers the imports to markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan and is exploring the markets in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
There are 78 seafood processing companies, 116 seafood trade companies and 400 wholesalers in Hunchun's International Seafood Industrial Park, processing and selling all kinds of seafood, including fish and shrimp. In 2017, Hunchun imported 450,000 tonnes of seafood worth 9 billion yuan.