The first refrigerated container has been sent by train from Ethiopia to Djibouti, marking a major milestone in the establishment of a Cool Logistics Corridor between the pair of East African countries.
Carrying 24 tonnes of avocados from the Koga area of Ethiopia, the container was sent to the Société de Gestion du Terminal à conteneurs de Doraleh (SGTD) and then was shipped to Europe.
The cool logistics project is the result of a cooperation between the governments of Ethopia, Djibouti and the Netherlands and is a key strategic step towards allowing Ethiopia to efficiently export its cooled goods including fruit, vegetables and flowers.
Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of Djibouti Ports & Free Zone Authority (DPFZA) and member of the Cool Logistics Steering Committee, oversees the cool logistics projects in Ethiopia and Djibouti.
He said: “This innovative cool supply chain Modji-Djibouti-Europe for fruits, vegetables, flowers and other perishables will balance the trade and maximise the use of Ethio-Djibouti railway.”
It is hoped that this new capability will allow the Ethiopian fruit and vegetable sector to rapidly expand.
Tewodros Zewdie, executive director of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association, said: “The fruit and vegetable sector in Ethiopia has the potential to become the next flower sector.”
Djibouti plays a key role through the cool logistics corridor by connecting landlocked countries to global maritime trade routes.