Avocado by Rail to Europe: Ethiopia starts the new trading boom

The first container of Avocados destined for Europe was moved by rail to the port of Djibouti. Ethiopia is known for offering ideal climate conditions for the year around cultivation of vegetables and fruit like Mango’s, Grapes and Oranges. For a long time, the development of local horticulture was impeded by the vast distances that needed to be covered and unreliable transport.

Last Saturday in Ethiopia saw a true watershed moment in the large scale development of the country’s agricultural and logistics sectors: the very first reefer container with 24 tonnes of Avocados was loaded onto a train in Ethiopia, from where it will be forwarded to Europe via the Port of Djibouti.


The first step is the result of a partnership between the governments of Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Netherlands that was launched several years ago. The Dutch contribution mainly concerns logistics expertise; how to effectively capitalize on the fast growing, modern rail network that is taking shape Ethiopia and Djibouti.


Thanks to targeted investments in reefer terminal facilities at strategic locations along the route, Ethiopia’s horticultural sector can now access Ethiopian consumers in the major cities as well as the global market. A number of previous obstacles -n along transit times, high dues and spoilage- have been effectively cleared.

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