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Master of Agribusiness

Banana Transshipment Model

John Brasington, Bellingham, Wash., defended his thesis, “Banana Transshipment Model,” on May 31, 2012.  Brasington is the Indirect Banana Customer Account Manager for Dole Fresh Fruit Company in Mt. Vernon, Wash. He will graduate from Kansas State University in August with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Bananas are the top-selling produce product in U.S. grocery stores, but because bananas must be imported weekly into the U.S., rising fuel and transportation costs have become a challenge. As the largest importer of bananas in the U.S., Dole is interested in developing the most efficient shipping routes for its fruit.

“We began looking at which routes would create the lowest cost shipment when importing bananas from our suppliers in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru. I analyzed fuel, trucking and shipping markets to determine the optimal routes for the bananas,” Brasington said.

The transshipment model he developed has made it possible to ship products from their countries of origin to areas with the highest demand via the most cost-effective routes.

Allen Featherstone, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Brasington’s thesis advisor, said, “With the increase in fuel costs, companies need to re-examine their logistic costs.  By looking for most cost effective alternatives for bringing product to market, consumers ultimately benefit through the availability of a quality product at a reduce cost.  John’s thesis did a comprehensive analysis of the banana market and found an alternative to benefit their customers.”

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness (www.mab.ksu.edu) is an award-winning, distance-education degree program that focuses on food and agribusiness management. Students and alumni work in every sector of the food and agribusiness industry and are located in 40 states within the United States and in 25 countries. 

“Through the comprehensive curriculum of the MAB program, I was able to apply what I learned into a variety of new facets of my company. My thesis led to an improved supply chain, which provided major savings to our customers and new revenue streams for our company,” Brasington said.