What Are the Top 5 Challenges in Wine Logistics?

When it comes to logistics and supply chain management, the two biggest challenges that are consistently brought up are optimization and risk management.  Finding the balance between reducing costs, time and inventory to gain competitive advantage while still protecting business from inevitable supply chain disruptions is no easy feat.  Add in multifaceted regulations, a fragile high-value product, and an international transport carrier environment constantly in flux, and you have the complex world of wine logistics.

We can’t talk about this topic without featuring the particular challenges for wine supply chains involving the US.  Now the largest wine consuming country, US beat out France and Italy, with 779 million gallons in 2015 according to the Wine Institute.  It’s easy to see why this is an attractive target market for both foreign and domestic wine producers.

To explore this topic further, we turned to JF Hillebrand, an international logistics provider specialized in beer, wines and spirits to provide industry insight on the key challenges and recommendations for the wine supply chain.

Getting the Most from Each Shipment

Wine by nature is a heavy commodity, 1 kilo to 1 liter, and when you add in wine bottles, packaging and pallets in standard ocean equipment, you have two common scenarios.  The available space in a twenty foot container will limit the load tonnage, and in a forty foot container the road weight allowances in the USA will limit the payload.

So how about shipping just the wine instead?  Bulk shipping has permitted wine shippers around the world to do just that, shifting the bottles and packaging out of the shipping container and to the destination markets.

Innovation in flexitank technology provided shippers a new bulk shipment method, more cost-effective and flexible than existing ISO tanks, which require strict cleaning standards to be met along with unit repositioning to balance the import and export demand.

JF Hillebrand’s VinBulk system more than doubles the capacity of a single twenty foot ocean container, safely transporting up to 24,000 liters of bulk wine compared to 10,584 liters of bottled wine.  It essentially transforms a twenty foot standard container into a bulk liquid transportation device or a bulk wine storage unit in the case of JF Hillebrand’s VinStore.

Reducing Temperature Risk to Product

To state it simply, wine is a temperature sensitive product.  Exposure to daily thermal fluctuations, extreme heat, cold and humidity in transport affects wine in transit, impacting bottled wines and packing or labels the most.  Given the factors of geography and seasonality in the supply chain, owners have had to determine for themselves what level of risk to take on shipping in dry containers or opting for the additional cost of operating refrigerated containers.

Taking the industry lead for temperature risk assessment on beer, wine and spirits, JF Hillebrand developed VinRoute, a predictive risk management tool.  The internal database of shipping routes and historical temperature and humidity data allows shippers to make informed decisions on container equipment selection.

Wine Logistics

Taking it a step further, the company developed VinLiner, a protective liner foil system designed for the alcoholic beverage industry that fits in dry containers, or over individual pallets, to reduce the effect of thermal shocks, extreme temperatures and humidity within a container.  It delivers that sweet spot between optimization and risk mitigation, providing cost savings compared with a traditional operating refrigerated shipping container without the load capacity reduction required in a refrigerated unit.

Keeping Product Safe in the Process  

Smart supply chain strategy should include standard processes and procedures to mitigate risk when possible, as well as insurance against claims and transport liability.

Some precautions are basic, bottled wine shipments require appropriate export packaging as well as container cargo loading, both for product protection and for load weight distribution.

For bulk wine shipments in flexitanks, container selection is a critical component for transport safety.  JF Hillebrand’s on-site technical assistance for container inspection, equipment fitting and loading or discharge operations ensures that product is professionally handled and compliant with local and international transport regulations.

For product protection beyond the supplier’s premises, businesses need to be aware of transport carriers’ limited liability clauses and terms of use.  For any international logistics operation, involving multiple modes of transportation and a sensitive or high-value product, a comprehensive cargo transport insurance policy such as JF Hillebrand’s VInsurance contracts reduce overall exposure in the event something does go wrong.

Staying up to Code

Keeping on top of the latest governmental regulations, including recent directives for USA food safety or maritime law amendments and protocols, is a daunting task for business owners.  Failure to meet deadlines or exact requirements can delay orders in the pipeline, and any loaded container stuck in a port terminal can rack up terminal fines in demurrage or container detention charges, and lead to additional fines or penalties for non-compliance.

Sometimes even the rules themselves can be unclear, when new regulation comes into force without a clear and global statement as to its application or enforcement.  One such recent example was the verified gross mass mandate of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.  The international maritime law amendment required shipments beyond 200 nautical miles offshore to provide the verified gross mass to vessel and terminal operators prior to vessel loading.  How the weight was to be calculated, verified, transmitted to various ocean shipping carriers and container terminals, and enforced was left to the over 170 member countries that were part of that international convention.

JF Hillebrand took the lead in communicating the latest information to shippers as it took shape in the various countries through its local and global networks, then simply adjusted systems and processes to adapt to the new requirement.  As a result, the compliance deadline came and went without a hitch.

Adapting for the Exceptions  

With a category so broad as wine, which encompasses everyday sips to high-value one-of-a-kind bottles, information and supply chain visibility requirements are going to likewise need to be tailored to individual companies and their business models.

Investing and developing in-house information platforms for logistics and specific products can be cost-prohibitive and not always scalable in the case of acquisitions or changing industry requirements.  Outsourcing those activities with a logistics partner with strong IT platforms and experience in global wine markets has clear advantages.

JF Hillebrand pioneered AXIS, a custom order management systems specifically for beer, wine and spirits logistics, tailored to the appropriate level per client.  Owners of niche wine brands have real-time visibility to order flows, documentation, automated daily reporting and lead time analysis, while large scale global brands owners participate in collaborative supply chain solutions that include advanced inventory management and full scale forecasting, orders and stock control.

The Takeaway

Complex, demand-sensitive wine supply networks need both smart strategies and safety nets to stay efficient, adaptable and deliver results.  Thanks to technology and data that make predictive analysis a reality, third-party logistics providers can work in partnership with wine shippers to deliver sophisticated and customized solutions.  If wine making is an art, then wine supply chain logistics is definitely a science.

USA Trade Tasting 2017 Conference Registrations Are Now Open. Register Now.

Wine Logistics

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now. 

USATT Visitor Registration is Now Open.

It’s Revolution Time: Make your “Wine Store” a Lean, Mean, Selling Machine: Marketing that will Crush your Competition and Win Customers for Life.

Wine

(Image: Stephen Fahy)

Join Stephen Fahy, who is the Sales Director and Senior Buyer at the Wine Library in New York When he takes the stage at USA Trade Tasting Conference and gives his keynote on how wine & liquor store owners can create long term customers and grow their top line. Stephen Fahy is passionate about the business of direct-to-consumer wine education and the complete customer service experience. He has proven to be a specialist in finding and promoting a wide range of exciting wines from around the world, working directly with importers, distributors, and the wineries themselves. His palate is widely recognized by an ever-growing local, regional and national consumer base, due in large part to the extraordinary quality of the wines he selects to put on offer, and loves the excitement of the business, especially when his contagious enthusiasm spreads to others.

For more than a decade prior to Stephen’s role at the Wine Library, he managed and ran the wine retail programs for other key, large scale wine merchants in both New Jersey and Manhattan. He also serviced and sold to some of Manhattan’s top restaurants and retailers while a Wine and Spirits Consultant with Winebow.

Stephen has been an active Adjunct Professor teaching “Concepts of the Sommelier” at Montclair State University. This three credit University course grounds students in the principles of wine tasting, key varietal and regional knowledge, and the service expectations of the wine professional in both on and off-premise settings. Stephen has also been actively consulting with the London-based research and business strategy firm, Wine Intelligence as a Research Associate specializing in the U.S. wine trade and consumer sector.

In 2011, Stephen earned his Diploma in Wine & Spirits (DWS), with Merit, from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust in London. He is the proud father of three girls and with his wife, enjoys the hustle and bustle of the Garden State where he lives, in northern New Jersey.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 2.30 pm – 3:00 pm.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Stephen Fahy about How you can make your “wine store” a lean, mean, selling machine: Marketing that will crush your competition and win customers for life.

Wine

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now. 

USATT Visitor Registration is Now Open.

 

SCEA de Bastard from France at USATT 2017

The ancient watchtower of Les Remparts Estate; home of unique wines from a unique winery in Aquitaine.

As it has been from centuries, their tower stands proudly on the label of all the wines made at watchtower.

The watchtower stands as a reminder to every owner of the Chateau, from generation to generation, that they are present guardians of an ongoing tradition of excellence.

Vineyards

They draw on rich and diverse resources when creating their wines. Their vineyards are scattered on various soils and enjoy different micro-climates, producing a rich variety of grapes used for the final blend.

Wine Maker

For example, Les Remparts vineyard, is the heart of their Estate, is situated on a lime rock foundation on the banks of the Ciron River. The resulting harvest consistently produces unique aromas of strongly botrytized grapes with distinct mineralisation.  Grapes from their highest Candalle vineyard in front of Chateau d’Yquem produce elegant and subtle juice.  While grapes from their old vines besides Chateau de Malle, enrich the blend with incredibly spicy tones.This is the basis for creating complex and well balanced wines.

Sauternes

It is precisely here, on this blessed land, where a particular natural phenomenon occurs, producing the Sauternes’ miracle.

In autumn, fog descends every morning as the grapes ripen and they are then warmed by the Eastern winds. The result is the famous noble rot (or botrytis) which shrivels the grapes and concentrates the flavour.

Wine Maker
The taste that results is unmistakable, ranging from candied fruit to gingerbread, citrus zest to pine tar, caramel to exotic spices and fleur d’orange to French toast Wine Maker from France.

Here they produce their flagship wine, the Clos Dady Sauternes.Occasionally, when nature is very generous, they sort out a single batch of extraordinary quality Sauternes, which is called Clos Les Remparts.

Graves

Graves Appellation is unique too. The combination of fine gravels, red clay and limestone gives the grapes unparalleled complexity.

This is perhaps why wines from this appellation have been so popular all over Europe since the Middle Ages. In fact, in the 12th century, Graves was the main supplier of wine to England, under the patronage of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

 Wine MakerWine Maker

The unique soil of the region allows them to produce wines of incredible complexity, with characteristic soft and expressive tannin’s, which are so valued among Bordeaux winemakers.

They make here their red Clos Les Remparts, which is based on a Bordeaux blend with the prevailing Merlot.

They are particularly fond of their dry white Clos Les Remparts, which is based on 100% Semillon grapes sourced from old vines of “Jean Dubois” single vineyard.

Explore great wines offered by SCEA de Bastard  at USATT 2017. USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is an annual trade only event in New York city helping producers connect with wine, beer, spirits importers, distributors, retailers and press of USA. Meet Importers, State Distributors, Retailers and Press of USA in New York City.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry. Beverage Trade Network (BTN) successfully connects wineries, breweries, distilleries and brand owners with international importers, distributors, brokers and beverage industry professionals on a daily basis. Strong partnerships with international and US organizations have helped BTN establish USA Trade Tasting as a premiere sales and marketing event committed to connecting the beverage industry.

 

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now. 

USATT Visitor Registration is Now Open.

The New Brand / Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future

Brand

(Image: John Beaudette)

Since 1995, John Beaudette has been President and CEO of MHW, Ltd. (formerly named Monsieur Henri Wines, Ltd.). From 1985 to 1994, Mr. Beaudette worked with PepsiCo Inc. and its affiliate company Monsieur Henri Wines in the distribution of Stolichnaya Vodka and other wine and spirit brands. During this period, Mr. Beaudette held positions such as Director of Planning for PepsiCo Wines & Spirits Intl. and VP of Finance & CFO of Monsieur Henri Wines, Ltd. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Mr. Beaudette was Manager of Accounting for Somerset Importers, Ltd., US importers of Tanqueray TM, Johnnie Walker TM, and other spirit brands.

Brand

He currently sits on the Board of Directors of The National Association of Beverage Importers Inc. (NABI) in Washington D.C., serving as Chairman and a member of its Executive Committee. In addition to being a well recognized industry leader, John Beaudette is an international public speaker who has traveled the world, educating suppliers and government agencies about Brand Entry in the US & Navigating the Three Tier system.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from John Beaudette about The New Brand / Craft Phenomenon: An Even Better Future.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now. 

USATT Visitor Registration is Now Open.

How Importers and Distributors Can Build a Strong Sales Force

Importers

(Image: Josh Wand)

Josh Wand is the Founder & Motivator in Chief of BevForce, a boutique recruiting and staffing agency that specializes in hiring strategies and organizational design for beverage companies. Wand developed BevForce to provide the beverage industry with a full-service hiring and job search platform that connects good people to great jobs.

BevForce is a comprehensive recruiting and staffing resource, providing services including: executive recruiting, interim placement and a targeted industry job board at www.BevForce.com. BevForce is headquartered in New York, NY with an additional office in Los Angeles, California.

Importers

Prior to creating BevForce, Josh held positions at Southern Wine & Spirits, AV Imports and Sidebar Spirits. His role included business development, management of a national sales and distribution network, staffing the organization and instituting educational training programs for hotels and restaurant groups.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on 16th May at 10:00 am – 10:30 am.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Josh Wand about How Importers and Distributors Can Build a Strong Sales Force.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now. 

USATT Visitor Registration is Now Open.

Key Considerations on Route to Market Strategies in the U.S.

Market Strategies

(Image: Chris Mehringer)

Chris Mehringer serves as President of Park Street, the leading provider of productivity-enhancing and cost-saving back-office solutions, advisory services, and working capital to alcoholic beverage brands.  At its core, Park Street serves as an importer and national distributor and provides access to the U.S. alcoholic beverage market for thousands of alcoholic beverage brands from the U.S. and around the world.  Park Street’s clients range from entrepreneurs to multi-brand global suppliers and include craft distillers, centuries-old family businesses, award-winning wineries, contract producers, innovation brands, and more.  Mr. Mehringer regularly advises clients on issues pertaining to route-to-market, growth acceleration, and conflict resolution.

Market Strategies

Previously, Mr. Mehringer served as President of a national consumer products distribution company where he oversaw all aspects of operations and growth and developed and maintained strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 consumer products companies.  Mr. Mehringer is a founding board member of the Developing Minds Foundation, an advisor with the Harvard Innovation Lab, and a member of YPO.  He holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University.

Time & Venue :

The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 16th at 9:30 am – 10:00 am.

Grab your USATT conference passes and learn more from Chris Mehringer about Route to Market Strategies.

USATT Conference is limited to 300 people only. Register today to confirm your seat and learn all about Sales, Marketing and Distribution. USATT Conference ticket includes your entry into the grand tasting area as well. We hope to see you in NYC. View Speakers | View Full Schedule | Register.

Event Producer: Beverage Trade Network

USA Trade Tasting is brought to you by Beverage Trade Network, the leading online platform dedicated to connecting the global beverage industry.

Every year, the USATT Show brings together small and medium sized importers, distributors, retailers and press professionals of the US wine, spirits and beer industry in New York City for 2 days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun — all designed to help participants grow their bottom line. Get Your Visitor Trade Pass Now. 

USATT Visitor Registration is Now Open.