Ocean, air or ground freight? Besides delivery time and prices, do the requirements change on each? The perishables experts at Europartners let you know everything about it.

It’s avocado season! Of the 400 varieties of this wonderful fruit (often consumed as a vegetable), the Hass avocado has won the hearts of consumers around the world thanks to the awesome collaboration between producers, packers and freight forwarders, such as Europartners Group.

Like any perishable product, every detail is extremely important to ensure that the merchandise will reach the shelves around the world as if it had been harvested a few miles away.

The safest and cheapest way to transport tons of fresh avocado to many countries is by ocean freight. In today’s article, we will tell you the most important points of an operation so significant to the Mexican economy.

Let’s start with poor logistical decisions.

What are the main errors when exporting avocados by ocean freight?

Not establishing an adequate forecast program with the shipping company

The most likely result? Not finding enough reefer equipment available, since they are not kept in Mexico if they’re nor being used. When they’re required, they are brought from another country, generally Chile or Peru. The adequate time to a successful forecast is around three weeks or more.

Leaving operations in the hands of a professional who doesn’t understand the fresh avocado’s specificities

Any issues in the process result in loss of market value (or even in the destruction or return of the product!).

Installing the airtight curtain inappropriately

The consequence: adequate levels of controlled atmosphere (CA) will not be maintained; thus, the product will “mature” faster than required and have a shorter shelf life.

Installing the ethylene filter inappropriately

The avocado will ripen on the trip due to exposure to ethylene.

Best practices of a quality freight forwarder when exporting fresh avocado using ocean freight

Now let’s talk about the skills and knowledge necessary to take the Mexican Hass avocado to everywhere in the world, across the seven seas.

Updated technical knowledge

Logistics operations teams must know every single detail of the processes prior to embarkment, besides the temperature requirements and the technologies used to ensure that the avocado does not ripen so quickly.

This is how they can offer an excellent service to exporters (and also to advise them if necessary).

Fresh avocado can only be exported in containers with controlled atmosphere (CA)

The cargo must be kept in a recommended environment of 41°F, 5% carbon dioxide, 5% oxygen and the remaining of nitrogen. This may vary depending on the type of CA and the amount of dry matter in the product.

The freight forwarder must also ensure that the motor generator that keeps the container running smoothly has autonomy (that is, enough fuel) for the entire ocean and ground freight of the valuable fresh avocados.

An expert inspector

From the packaging plant, an inspector must verify if:

  1. the container provided by the shipping company is adequate and in optimal conditions.
  2. the motor generator works properly.
  3. the process of loading and keeping track of each loaded pallet is being well followed, in order to make sure that all loaded pallets are within the temperature range.

Additionally, the inspector will be responsible for placing the hermetic curtain and the ethylene filters inside the container.

The inspector has the power to reject a cargo that did not arrive at the port in the ideal temperature conditions or if the fruit suffered any damage on the way from the packaging plant to the ship.

Knowledge + personalized service = trust and success

At Europartners Group, we understand the technology needed to transport fresh avocados across the ocean and we keep our teams up to date in courses with shipping companies and specialists in the field.

We know perfectly the specific treatment required in fresh avocado export, and we can advise you regarding the delivery time and contract needs, anticipating risks and preventing losses.

We also offer an excellent ocean carrier management service, to help you get the best out of your own contracts with shipping companies.

Download free our service guide for Ocean Carrier Management

Fresh avocado: ocean freight advantages when exporting from Mexico

An exporter able to schedule well in advance (and the advice of a trusted freight forwarder, such as Europartners Group) can save costs and take more cargo further.

To the United States, for example, while a 53″ truck can carry 1,600 boxes of avocado by ground freight, a 40″ reefer container can transport 1,920 boxes of the exquisite fruit by sea.

Likewise, fresh avocado exports to the United States have an entry restriction: 18.5 tons by land boarders. By sea, up to 21.5 tons can entry the country at once.

And when is it better to use ground freight to transport fresh avocado?

In high season, like January, around 1,500 53” trucks filled with fresh avocado arrive in the United States from Mexico each week. This is because depending on the proximity to the borders, a cargo of our star fruit can reach its destination in up to 24 hours, without a controlled atmosphere container and for good rates.

Contact us now to speak with our ground freight specialists!

Why is air freight the priority option?

“By plane, avocados arrive at their destination still smelling like trees”, say the specialists from Europartners Group. When it comes to safety, speed and urgency, air freight is the best choice.

Our experts can plan precise routes, without altering the fresh avocado life span. We anticipate and minimize risks, we optimize the cold chain taking into account transit times, connections, airlines and cut-offs.

We know the diversity of insulating equipment (gel packs and everything else) available in the market and that are allowed within air freight. We have negotiating power and competitive rates.

And we offer as a great differential the tracking capacity, monitoring in real time the movement of your product, with technologies and equipment for measuring temperatures, impact, movement and more.

Contact us now to speak with our air transport specialists!


At the end of the day, the main criterion to decide for a transportation mode for exporting from Mexico fresh avocado is the transit time. The target market special features and the budget are complementary criteria.

Contact us now for high-level advice!

Fun facts

– Avocado producers and packers organizations work together with the federal government of Mexico to guarantee the quality of the exported product. They created a seal, México Calidad Suprema, acknowledged throughout the world.

– Mexico’s federal government has in a webpage all the official regulations for exporting this green wonder.

– A new market related to avocado does not stop growing: bioplastic made from its seed!

– In Brazil, Ecuador and Japan, avocado is consumed as a fruit: they eat it with lime and sugar, or as a smoothie (with milk and sugar), or as ice cream (with milk and sugar). The avocado was introduced as a vegetable to those countries by the Mexicans with the guacamole, but few people consume it like that. And speaking of guacamole, we have a gift for you!

Guacamole recipe!
Source: directoalpaladar.com