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Question 1

A cherry grower in the Huon Valley in Tasmania plans to export cherries to South Korea in the 2019 season. The cherry grower has four different varieties that ripen at different times between mid-December and late February. The total expected amount of cherries for export is about 1,000 tons. Use real world examples wherever appropriate and make assumptions if needed, complete the following two tasks.

a) Propose the most suitable transport system to move cherries from the farm gate in the Huon Valley in Tasmania to consumers in South Korea.

b) Discuss, from a transport and logistics perspective, the key factors affecting the quality of Tasmanian cherries on the shelves of supermarkets in South Korea.

Question 2

Choose a real-world intermodal terminal of your preference and complete the following tasks. Your discussion must be in the context of the intermodal terminal you have chosen.

a) Identify the features of this intermodal terminal and discuss how these features may contribute to, or impede, the success of this terminal.

b) Discuss how this intermodal terminal contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the transport system that it belongs to. You may discuss the contribution at both domestic and international levels.

Choosing the Optimum Transport System for Tasmanian Cherries

Transport can be described as the movement goods, humans and animals from one location to another. As it pertains international transport, there four major and common modes of transport: air, sea, rail, and roads.

With transport systems which are operated at an international scale, due to the need for expansion for links between both trading blocs and individual nations, and also having complex spatial networks. Therefore, with many changes, it has encouraged movements on a global scale. Technological advances in shipping and aircraft industry which have led to commercialization and high-capacity jet airlines and ships have stimulated and met the demand of cheaper and also more rapid movement goods and passengers over long distances. This has been influenced by an ever-increasing number of people, the rapid expansion of transnational manufacturing companies and commercial enterprises, and also the expansion of tourism has led to the demand of many additional schedules and charter services, and moreover increased international traffic. (Raghav, 2012)

Most suitable transport system for transporting cherries from the farm gate in the Huon Valley in Tasmania to consumers in South Korea

Because of the perishability of the cherries, international air transport is the most suitable system or mode for transporting them. Nowadays there is a high demand for quality services in the markets and consumers in all areas. Since keeping cherries while transporting to ensure they arrive at the consumer in good condition is not an easy task. Therefore, it needs a complex and quality system during the whole logistics process, from the collection point of the cherries to the destination point of distribution without deteriorating their quality especially due to environmental conditions over time.

These products require to be handled with utmost care since they are prone to severe and irreparable damage especially by temperature if not preserved consistently in order to ensure they are in excellent condition be reaching to the final consumer. This helps to minimize losses and damages which affect the businesses and final consumer since most of them occur between post-harvest and the process of product distribution.

Since airports, temperature-controlled facilities like refrigerated chambers and freezers, and also other special areas to handle perishable goods, complemented by guarded customs inspection points with highly-qualified and specialized personnel for ensuring and maintaining the perishable products are at all times kept at optimal temperatures hence making air transport the best option for transporting the cherries. It is the air transport which is the quickest and safest mode of transport for delivering perishable goods like the cherries within the shortest time possible to different countries in the world ensuring them being intact. (Tibamexico, 2018)

The Key Factors Affecting the Quality of Tasmanian Cherries in South Korea

Key factors affecting the quality of Tasmania cherries on the shelves of supermarkets in South Korea, from a transport and logistic perspective

Since cherry fruits are perishable products, their quality deteriorates after harvesting are associated with storage and marketing issues. These are developing of post-harvest rots, water loss, fruit softening, stem browning, and also other post-harvest disorders like bruising, pitting and pebbling.

Post-harvest decay is one of the significant challenges for storage of cherry fruits. This post-harvest rot is commonly due to pre-harvest infections which are associated with skin fracturing. Also packing the cherries in poly liners creates a saturated environment hence favoring condensation which usually leads to fungal decay, even if it helps in reducing water loss.

The cherry fruit softening, which is often changes of fruit firmness especially during shipping and storage is another challenge since its firmness is an important parameter of fruit quality in which consumers prefer fruits that are firm rather than soft.

The vapor pressure deficits which is related to fruit water loss and dehydration is another problem experienced during handling and storage of cherries, hence leading lack of freshness and direct financial loss since most of the cherry fruits are sold in terms of weight parameter. In addition, storage temperatures, airflow and relative humidity around the cherries are major determining factors of the potential water loss and dehydration, during packaging and storage of the fruits. Moreover, mechanical damages like pitting and bruising may contribute to increasing fruit water loss if there is rupturing of the natural fruit coating during storage and handling.

Even if the cherry stems are not consumed, consumer perception is greatly influenced by stem quality, in particular, the color and freshness since they consider fresh-looking stems, therefore important to maintain their quality. The highly undesirable stem browning due to water loss and mechanical damage is another challenge since most green stems are considered as indicators of freshness for overall cherry fruits, hence these indicators are very crucial and helpful in guiding and influencing consumer buying decisions. Therefore, in a retail environment, these observations will always have an impact and consequences as far as the display of the cherries is concerned in the supermarkets.

Pitting which is characterized by irregular hardening of pits in the fruit surface especially on its shoulders depression, is another serious defect which develops during storage which is unacceptable commercially. It detracts from overall fruit appearance on display and also eating experience of the cherry. It also increases the respiration rate and is a basis of decay development hence reducing the fruits market and shelf life.  

Post-Harvest Decay: The Importance of Proper Storage and Packaging

Bruising is one of the most common major defects of cherries, which involves the physical damage, i.e., compression and compaction of the freshness of cherry fruits.  It makes the fruit visually less attractive and prone to development of post-harvest rot. Due to the presence of bruising on the fruits, it affects the buying behavior and perception of the consumer negatively since the fruit lacks texture, hence downgrading its acceptability.

Pebbling also referred to as ‘orange’ is a storage disorder which is physiological in nature, which its occurs is associated with storage of cherry fruits for a long time like 45 days at 0 degrees Celsius. It is characterized by areas of elevation and depression alternating which detracts its shiny and fresh appearance. It contributes to losing water from the fruit skin casually, either by osmotic dehydration or transpiration.  Therefore, pebbling can be minimized by reducing the fruit storage duration.

Therefore, there is always a need to improve and maintain the fruit quality of cherries over long storage and marketing times. Good and well management of the cherries packaging and storage environment like relative humidity and temperature is very important since they are highly perishable with their relatively short shelf-life.

The obsolescence rate of cherries is very high. Therefore quality control is very important. Once the cherries arrive at supermarkets, the quality control team while sorting and packing should check and ensure they meet grade standards before they are stored in the cold store shelves. They should be randomly checking of the overall quality of the cherries in the containers kept.

Another challenge is the management of big volumes of cherries on the shelves of supermarkets, putting into consideration the application of time rate. Also packing of the cherries before storage adds rigidity in the stock management.

Also in order to avoid deterioration of the packed cherries in stock, there should be a restriction to demand a level of the consumers, therefore ensuring the time window the harvest and getting the cherries on the supermarket shelves is shortened up. In general, the main stock approach and practice be FIFO in which it can be moderated depending on the presence of priority requirements and client specifications in order to have better management of the cherries inventory.

For the cherries, a fast and responsive supply chain and distribution are usually required for the purpose of dealing with the unpredictability of the demand hence helping in reducing wastes. Small and frequent orders should be ensured to retailers, and also the stable flow of the orders is very crucial to them. Relatively high repacking costs is also another factor.

Fruit Softening and Vapor Pressure Deficits: The Challenges of Handling and Storage

I would prefer a road-road intermodal terminal. It involves moving load units of goods which have been collected from different areas via road vehicles and then to the road-rail intermodal terminal, then unloaded from the vehicles or trucks and loads onto a train which transports them over a long distance. Therefore, the road-rail terminal is equipped to place where transshipment and storage of loading units are done between the road and rail. In order to choose a successful intermodal terminal, analysis of the benefits and shortcomings, even of the other alternatives should be considered for the purpose of determining the possibility of the project development and its success. Generally, these are the four common and major criteria used by most organizations. These are the basic business case, sufficient market size, financial viability, and also rail network integration. Basically for it to meet the business case threshold, the volumes level must be large enough to translate to business that fits intermodal railroad networks. (Roso, The dry port concept: connecting container seaports with the hinterland., 2009)

The supposed intermodal terminal network should be able to meet the market mass. Drayage services between linehaul terminal and actual consumer location should be offered. Intermodal transport must offer all-in, door-to-door transportation costs which are cheaper compared to truckload good. For the proposed intermodal terminal project must be viable in financial terms even if it meets the business criteria. It is important because it is the center of capital planning and budgeting.

Railway network integration is very critical since intermodal terminal should be adjacent and accessible to mainlines of the railroad in order to complement the rail linehaul operations. (Chen, 2012)

Equipment balance is another important factor which is usually required especially for businesses operating asset-based networks, which is more complex for intermodal terminals due to different types and sizes of equipment. Inbound and outbound volume handling is another aspect for determining the desirability of the intermodal terminal. In addition, another issue to be considered is the assistance from any potential private and public partners to the railroad. The development of terminal is usually facilitated and driven by owners and also investors.

Features of the preferred intermodal terminal and how they may contribute, or impede, the success of the terminal

Some of the features and characteristics of road-rail intermodal terminal or transportation are:-

  1. Nature, volume and handling of freight that passes through the terminals.
  2. Purpose of doing similar processes like loading, transfer, and storage.
  3. Positioning a rail siding, loop or spur for ensuring accessibility of the nearby warehouses and also distribution facilities.
  4. Accessibility of roads trucks carrying the load units or containers.
  5. Preserved working places or areas where load units and/or containers can be handled and removed or loaded from the trucks onto the railway wagons.
  6. Established facilities for handling and storing perishables products or goods.
  7. Availability of hardstands for storage of full or empty containers for a certain period of time probably short term.
  8. Allocation of road to road cross-dock activities to enhance dispatch of consignments into the small loads for delivery locally.
  9. Provision of lifting equipment or cranes which are usually required for operations like transferring load units and containers to and from rail wagons to storage places or from trucks to storage.
  10. Train support functions such as maintenance, wagon storage, fuel, crew facilities and also co-locate the site.
  11. Availability of management for both soft and hard infrastructure to ensure and enhance seamless movement of containers and goods within the terminal taking care of  support activities which are necessary like traffic control and management within the road-rail operations,  infrastructure and machinery maintenance, control and accepting of authorized vehicles, transit processing and generation, and also other documentation.
  12. Offering support services to the customer who reduces consignment/cargo handling hence increasing supply chain effectiveness and efficiency.
  13. An adequate area of land available.
  14. Ancillary logistic activities co-location and documentation.(Rodrigue & Slack, 2013)

How the intermodal terminal contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of the transport system that it belongs to, at both domestic and international levels.

Costs associated with transport services in the road-rail intermodal system, like transport costs incurred by the operator like contain handling, freight forwarding and rail carriage costs, costs incurred for public transport investment by the state budget, and also transport costs incurred by the society, is a vital factor for effectiveness and efficiency of the transport.

Modern logistics solutions implementation process and the existence of standard container units in the road-rail intermodal system is another aspect which affects efficiency.

Total delivery time taken by the road-rail intermodal transport system and also the transport technologies involved have a great impact on efficiency like reduction of congestion situations on the road. (Bontekoning, 2004)

Introduction and use of new and direct shuttle trains by the road-rail intermodal operators due to reduced economic risks which are related to it by introducing favorable access fees to railway infrastructure facilities leads to increased and improved efficiency.

For the purpose of implementing and ensuring sustainable strategies of transport, railway services are gaining high demand because of is relatively cheap, less congested hence more effective and efficient element in which it stimulates the intermodal transport development.

In the transport system, the process of external costs internalization, the exertion of effective pressure   especially on logistic processes and operators influence the choice of eco-friendly transport modes and systems. (Roso, Capacity factors in intermodal road-rail terminals, 2015)


Bontekoning, Y. (2004). Is a new applied transportation research field emerging?––A review of intermodal rail-truck freight transport literature. Transportation research : policy and practice journal, 1-34.

Chen, S. (2012). The integrated transportation accessibility in Fujian province and its correlation with the spatial distribution of manufacturing. Scientia geographic, 6.

Raghav. (2012). 3 Important International Transport Systems. 45-67.

Rodrigue, J.-P., & Slack, B. (2013). The Geography of Transport Systems. The spatial organization of transportation and mobility, 56-106.

Roso, V. (2009). The dry port concept: connecting container seaports with the hinterland. Journal of transport geography, 338.

Roso, V. (2015). Capacity factors in intermodal road-rail terminals. 10-41.

Tibamexico. (2018, October 29). How to transport Perishable goods. Retrieved from Tibamexico: https//

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