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Believe it or not, three Boeing 747 freighters packed with potatoes are headed to Japan to mitigate the french fry shortage. 

U.S. freight forwarder Flexport Inc. CEO Ryan Petersen tweeted Tuesday night that his firm contracted three 747 freighters to fly potatoes to Japan to help with McDonald’s Holdings Co. Japan’s french fly crisis. 

“Flexport just contracted to fly three 747 loads of potatoes to Japan to help with the French fry shortage,” Petersen tweeted. 

On Dec. 21, we reported that McDonald’s faced a ‘fry-tening’ supply chain problem of a potato shortage that forced the fast-food restaurant to ration french fries with meals. The company blamed massive flooding in Vancouver for its soggy mess.

There are 2,900 McDonald’s restaurants in the country, and many have been rationing french fries for the last week. There was no word if air freight costs would result in french fry inflation for consumers.

This is the second time in three years, McDonald’s has experienced a french fry shortage. Cold weather and the impact of a hurricane in 2019 damaged potato crops across North America and led to supply woes for french fry processors.

“We considered involving Flexport for this humanitarian relief operation but in the end decided that the for-profit side was a better fit,” Petersen tweeted. 

Seattle Port Commissioner Sam Cho responded to Petersen’s tweet above and said, “Serious question: Why would a French fry shortage even be considered as “humanitarian relief?” Or is that sarcasm?” 


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