How we master logistics for the wine and spirits industry. There are a few key trends in transportation and logistics in the industry:
Temperature-controlled logistics: Wines and spirits are sensitive to temperature changes. Many companies are investing in solutions to ensure that their products are transported and stored under the right conditions, which can help to maintain their quality and taste.
E-commerce and Direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales: With the rise of online sales and e-commerce, there is an increased focus on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales. This means they need to have logistics solutions that can handle the increased volume of smaller, individual orders and the last-mile delivery of products to customers' homes.
Adapting to changing consumer preferences: The wines and spirits industry is facing changing consumer preferences, such as increasing demand for organic, locally sourced and sustainable products. As a result, companies are adapting their transportation and logistics operations to meet these new demands.
Compliance with regulations: The wines and spirits industry is heavily regulated, and transportation and logistics operations must comply with a range of rules and regulations, including those related to the transportation of alcoholic beverages, customs, and security. When importing or exporting wines and spirits, excise duties can also come into play.
Sustainability initiatives: Similar to other industries, companies are facing growing pressure to reduce their environmental impact, and as a result, many companies are implementing sustainability initiatives in their transportation and logistics operations. This can include using more fuel-efficient vehicles, reducing the distance products travel, and adopting green logistics practices.
Increased use of digital technologies: digital technologies, such as GPS tracking and real-time monitoring, improve the efficiency and visibility of transportation and logistics operations. They can also be used for security, as wines and spirits are easy to sell. As truckloads represent significant value, they need to be adequately secured.
Why is secured transportation crucial for this industry
Secured transportation is important for the wine and spirits industry because these products are often high-value and can be easily damaged or compromised during transport.
Additionally, the wine and spirits industry is heavily regulated, and proper transportation can ensure compliance with laws and regulations regarding the handling and distribution of these products. Furthermore, secured transportation can also protect against theft, which can be a major issue for these types of products.
Proper planning and visibility ensure availability
Whether you sell your products via online channels or retail outlets doesn't matter. The availability of products is critical. If products are unavailable, customers may switch to another brand and not return. Whether you deliver to consumers or an e-commerce platform, the timeliness of your delivery is essential.
Availability and speed impact the number of locations where inventory is stored. A solid transportation schedule combined with complete inventory visibility can allow companies to reduce the locations where inventory is stored.
Ahlers can assist you in determining the optimal location or locations of your warehouses and storing and distributing your products, whether through a central distribution center or a network of local warehouses. We can also deliver shipments direct to specific customers according to their requirements, bypassing local DCs.
We can transport wines and spirits bottled and packed in boxes, but we also provide transportation with flexitanks, barrels and iso tanks. Domestically, intra-European, or internationally, we ensure the availability of your products on time and in full.
Alcohol, Excise, and Value-Added Services
When you import or export wines and spirits and other alcoholic beverages, you have to pay excise. Sometimes, no duties have to be paid, like when alcohol is sold in duty-free areas in airports. In other cases, it is possible to delay the payment of excise duties by storing goods in an excise warehouse. Excise then only needs to be paid in the country where the goods are delivered.
Ahlers can assist you with duty-free customs handling and other procedures. In our warehouses, we can put country-specific excise labels on bottles or other labels in the language of the country where the bottles will be sold. We also offer bonded warehousing. Contact one of our specialists if you have questions.
Next to (re-)labelling, we can perform other value-added activities, like preparing gift sets by repackaging bottles, adding items like branded glasses, or attaching country-specific labels.
Secured transport options for high-value or theft-sensitive cargo
When transporting wines and spirits, it is essential to ensure every product gets recovered and protected during transportation. Hard-bodied trailers are the first step. Insulated trailers can be used, or actively cooled or heated reefer trailers for temperature-sensitive products.
The second step is security measures. We use different methods to securely transport high-value cargo, on top of using hard-bodied trailers.
- Manned: security guards can accompany high-value shipments of cosmetics products. This can either be an (armed) security guard that rides in the cabin with the driver or a separate car with two guards that follows the truck.
- Unmanned: a more cost-effective solution is installing a security device in the truck and the trailer. You can install our Safe-T solution in the trailer. It monitors the location of the trailer, but also whether someone enters the trailer or whether there are unexpected changes in the temperature. It safeguards goods against theft and damage caused by outside weather influences.
Safe-T: your goods arrive safely, with complete visibility
A camera records what happens in the trailer, while microphones record the sound. There are sensors detecting movement in the trailer, the opening of the doors, the temperature and humidity inside the trailer, the truck’s speed, the exact location, and even the driver’s heartbeat. This allows all sorts of responses to unexpected events without the driver having to take action. Some examples:
- Geofencing technology can trigger an alarm if the truck deviates from its route.
- Temperature and humidity sensors can trigger an alarm when there is a sudden change in temperature or humidity, for example, through a hole in the trailer.
- A spike in the driver’s heartbeat can indicate that they are in danger.
- A panic button on the driver’s phone immediately alerts the monitoring center
Our monitoring center, operating 24/7, can monitor the systems remotely. When there seems to be a problem, they can contact the driver to check in or proactively warn police, repair or emergency services and direct them to the truck's location to stop an ongoing robbery or help a driver with a health issue.
Why let Ahlers handle your wine and spirits logistics?
- 30 years of experience in complex markets
- Close customer relationships
- Tailor-made solutions
- A dedicated team of experts
- One common approach, global and local
- End-to-end supply chain management
- Advanced technological security for your shipment
- Complete visibility on your inventory in route and to the warehouse
- Duty-free customs handling capabilities
- Value added services