Sep 28, 2023

A long and complex journey, such as the one from France to America, always requires the solution of intermodal transport. Transport which, by definition, takes place via an Intermodal Transport Unit (ITU). The goods contained therein are never removed, moved or manipulated until they reach their final destination. And it is this lack of manipulation that guarantees a lower risk of damaging the contents, a lower cost of transhipment between different types of vehicles and often also guarantees greater speed.

If we then consider the transport of some specific product categories, such as the transport of perishable goods, fragile materials, luxury goods or the transport of historic cars, from France to America, the level of complexity increases. The most influencing decisions concern the choice of the type of transport: road transport, maritime transport or air transport.


Intermodal transport. Pros and cons
For the transport of perishable goods, fragile materials and luxury goods the level of complexity increases.


We are referring specifically to the choice of the type of combination to adopt: road-rail, road-rail-ship or road-ship-airplane-road, to give some examples. All this influences, significantly, delivery times, the safety of the goods and, last but not least, the costs that will have to be borne.

It is therefore necessary to evaluate the characteristics of the goods transported (luxury goods, food goods, luxury cars, works of art, pharmaceutical products, etc.) but, above all, to possess such expertise as to justify the trust that the customer places in the company of logistics. Only in this way will it be possible to provide a service that can cope with any type of unexpected event, even more so in the case of intercontinental transport.

Trasauto Logistica has been dealing with intercontinental transport from France to America for over forty years, with extreme professionalism and guaranteeing effective and safe solutions. For years it has been adopting intermodal transport solutions which are certainly keys to efficiency for shipping specific goods to America. Last but not least, it is the most suitable transport for an ecological future.

In these forty years of activity, regarding intercontinental transport to and from America, unique, unrepeatable opportunities have arisen, real challenges, which are worth talking about.




In 2018, a well-known Mexican agri-food company based in Veracruz, Mexico, decided to expand into the French market, which in those years was particularly sensitive to soft commodities, that’s to say, perishable goods deriving from the agricultural sector.

To achieve the goal it was necessary to first create and then consolidate the marketing network in one of the main economic powers in Western Europe. The board of directors, awaiting the development of the network, proceeded in the direction of a massive export to France of one of the most loved fruits of Mexican territory: the avocado.


Intermodal transport of perishable goods
The type of combination selected significantly influences delivery times, safety and related costs.


And the choice was justified by the fact that avocado, at the time, forcefully entered most European diets, and in France it had become a must within a few years.

But shipping 25.000 tons of avocados to France meant making a perishable product travel a considerable distance in the fewest number of days possible. Trasauto Logistica was entrusted with the task of coordinating the transport of the entire flow of perishable goods.

In particular, it involved an intercontinental transport from Mexico to France which had to comply with specific regulations and a notable series of possible unforeseen events. An Intermodal Logistics plan was needed.




In 2018, nutritionists from all over Europe, on more and more occasions of discussion, proposed avocado as an alternative to extra virgin olive oil, which was until then, the undisputed leader of the Mediterranean diet. Some of the main diets based on beneficial nutrients and gastronomes sensitive to specific nutritional characteristics benefit from it, as well as companies producing this fruit originating from Central America.

Hence the choice of the management of Veracruz (MEX) to first discover and then take advantage of the enormous potential offered, not only by the new French market, but by the whole of Western Europe.


Nutritional characteristics of Avocado
Sending tons of avocados to France meant making a perishable product travel a considerable distance.


However, the distance to be covered for a transport from Mexico to France was considerable and with it the difficulty of managing changes at the hubs and foreseeing the myriad of setbacks in an estimate that appeared realistic, even if prudential.

In fact, from Veracruz to Paris, there are more than 9.000 kilometers and the company that entrusted us with the task of transporting the goods wanted us to ensure the absence of any risk of alteration for each unit of the enormous load.

An import of perishable goods from Mexico into France must take place in full compliance with European regulations and those of the country of destination, but also those of the sender country. In this case, the Mexican Ministry of Economy had taken steps to dictate official standards to comply with and, to ensure that they were respected, the applicant had to be informed.

This is why, based on our experience, we know that attention must be paid to customs duties, regulations for certificates of origin for all stocks of goods, packaging and labeling requirements. Furthermore, during the transport phases, it is necessary to monitor the temperature of the containers which must, consequently, be controlled in all loading/unloading phases, especially in the storage hubs, in order to avoid thermal shocks that could compromise the chemical-physical qualities of any perishable goods.

For what concerns temperature control systems, Trasauto Logistica has the possibility of setting and monitoring, simultaneously, multiple temperature values via multiple sensors connected in various compartments of the means of transport used or depending on the containers used. Receiving notifications, from each of the sensors, when the set limit thresholds exceed the allowed parameters.


Intermodal Transport Unit (ITU)
Trasauto Logistica sets and monitors multiple values via different sensors depending on the containers used.


In fact, for the transport of goods such as avocados in the “green state” it is necessary that the temperature is constantly ensured between 5° and 13°C, unlike ripe avocados, for which a temperature between 2° and 4°C.

Whole, cut, or minimally processed fresh fruit and vegetables continually breathe and produce heat, moisture, and gases, affecting temperature. It is precisely in these conditions that the quality of the product risks being inevitably compromised.

Even during the movement phases of the goods, the temperature changes with the consequence of increasing the risk of perishability. This is why monitoring the temperature in transit is essential for the correct maintenance of the cold chain.

However, the particularity of the fruit, highlighted by the client himself, was that, unlike normal vegetables, it ensured greater resistance to long journeys and this inevitably led us to recommend, among the possible combined transport solutions, the one which combined rail transport to sea transport.

Thus, in compliance with the Logistics Plan, 480 40-foot containers left the port of Veracruz, with thousands and thousands of “green” avocados crammed into them. The container ship “Chiapas Star”, one of the cargo ships most accustomed to transoceanic transport, for this specific route, set sail from Veracruz and stopped in La Rochelle, after only 12 days of navigation. She managed to maintain, although the weather conditions were not the best, a cruising speed of around 10,5 kn. The journey continued by rail to Paris. 4 trains were used which transported, in rotation, with, on average, a load of 60 containers for each, in another 2 days, to the destination Hub.

In short, a true record of efficiency


Container cargo ships
480 40-foot containers left the port of Veracruz, with thousands and thousands of “green” avocados crammed into them.


It is very important to underline that in this case we opted for combined rail-sea transport, as the type of agri-food product to be transported could withstand a journey of up to 20 days, as it was delivered in the “green state”. But if it had been a question of exporting more mature or less resistant perishable products to France, combined transport solutions would have been proposed which would have used road vehicles, air cargo and involved different carriers and partners.





For many years now, Trasauto Logistica has chosen intermodal for the different types of intercontinental transport, not only to the benefit of the customer but, above all, for the protection of the environment. In fact, intermodal transport contains three very important characteristics:

  • It is cost-effective: the combined solution adapts more easily to customer needs;
  • It is sustainable: thanks to intermodal transport, transport and logistics operations are minimized in order to reduce the impact on the environment;
  • Protects the haulier: thanks to intermodal transport, the haulier during long transports will not have to suffer the stress of traffic on long journeys, thus being able to reconcile productivity and rest to the full advantage of the safety and reliability of the load.

Trasauto Logistica has, for years, been committed to ensuring that every type of transport respects customer needs and guarantees the best result for both companies and private individuals.


Transporters' rest is essential
The combined solutions allow transporters a significant reduction in stress from long routes.


If you need to transport perishable goods, vintage cars, pharmaceutical products or luxury vehicles anywhere in the world, just fill out our contact form. The staff in charge will quickly draw up a detailed quote, suitable for determining the amount you will have to spend for the transport to be completed with maximum efficiency.


Or for personalized assistance, you can call the offices in Italy at: +39 (0)828 1818150

or request further information by e-mail:







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