4 things to consider when choosing a beverage logistics partner

By Anki Svensson, 26 February 2015

Alcoholic beverages are sensitive and precious goods. Therefore they need to be carefully handled in terms of caution and safety. Delivery precision, cost efficiency, laws and regulations should also be taken into account. Here are four things to consider when choosing your logistics partner for alcoholic beverages.

  1. Does your logistics partner have control over the shipping environment?

To successfully make a shipment of alcohol you need to know the different ways of transport i.e. the shipping environment. Alcoholic beverages can be shipped in different ways. It can be shipped in containers, on trucks, transported as bulk using ISO tanks or Flexibags which are disposable plastic bags loaded into standard container. Regardless of shipping method you and your carrier need to have control over the shipping environment.

Alcoholic beverages are temperature-sensitive products. The alcohol lowers the freezing point, so when wine or beer freeze the water begins to crystallize, and the products are destroyed. Vice versa, alcohol that is left in heat for too long will begin to ferment. As elevated temperatures can cause drying out of wine corks and damaging oxidation, temperature swings should also be kept to a minimum. The same applies to sunlight, which can accelerate the oxidation process, and also the humidity of alcoholic beverages needs to be right to avoid contamination.

So, depending on the seasonal differences and weather conditions you have to make sure your logistics partner has the knowledge and experience on how to handle your valuable shipment.

  1. How well is your logistics partner protecting your cargo?

As alcoholic beverages are relatively valuable goods, there is a considerable risk of theft especially on road. But there are many ways for carriers to protect the shipments in-transit and avoid losses. By using devices like GPS receivers carriers are able to directly pinpoint the location of the shipments. This helps them know exactly where the cargo is at all times, making it very easy to detect if something goes wrong.

So, make sure your logistics partner asks you about the content and value of the load. Everyone involved, from the driver to the receiver, should have the knowledge about the nature of the goods and the special attention it requires. Communication and information is a key factor for a safe and secure transport.

  1. Does your logistics partner have knowledge about laws and regulations?

Preparing a shipment of alcoholic beverages requires careful preparation and research. To successfully make a shipment you must make sure you are in compliance with specific laws and regulations. These naturally depend on the origin and destination of the shipment.

As different countries have different laws and regulations it is important that your carrier is familiar with the specific import and export conditions, and the requirements you need to meet. Shipping within EU for example requires access to the EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System) procedure.

Your logistics partner should be able to handle customs clearance and tax returns, as well as formalities such as customs documents, certificates and labelling. To sum it up ­ make sure your partner has the knowledge required to make shipments of alcohol.

  1. Can your logistics partner handle time-sensitive shipments?

Shipping alcoholic beverages can be time-critical, especially in countries with government alcohol monopoly such as the Nordic countries. Systembolaget in Sweden for example has certain rules that importers must follow to get permission to sell their products in Systembolaget’s stores – one of them is delivery precision.

Products that are not delivered on time will reduce importer’s chances to sell their alcoholic beverages in most stores significantly. Consequently, if your carrier handles your deliveries badly it affects you and your brand. Even if you sell your alcoholic beverages directly to bars and restaurants you would not want to store them in warehouses longer than necessary, causing additional cost and risks of theft.

Therefore, choose a beverage logistics partner who has a contingency plan to make sure your products are delivered on time ­- every time!

One contact person – multiple beverage logistics solutions

We believe knowledge, safety, quality assurance and delivery precision should be the foundation for beverage logistics. At Greencarrier we have extensive experience in the beverage logistics industry from and to all countries in the world that produce and consume beverages.

We provide global door-to-door import and export solutions and offer all modes of transportation including vessel, truck, train and airplane ­- everything handled from one single point of contact. This means you don’t have to contact different companies or departments. At Greencarrier you have one contact for everything regardless of which matter or concern you have. We support you throughout the entire process in the chain of logistics, from related documentation to customs clearance and legal matters.

I hope this blog article was somehow helpful to you -­ perhaps you got some good advice on things to consider when choosing your logistics partner for alcoholic beverages? Maybe you agree with me on these matters, maybe not?

Well, if you can think of any other aspect, please share it with me in the comment field below! And if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. For more news, updates and blog articles visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

/ Anki Svensson Greencarrier Freight Services, Customer Service Beverage

One thought on 4 things to consider when choosing a beverage logistics partner

  1. I’m glad that you mention how it’s important to find a delivery company that can protect the shipments so you can avoid losses and keep track of your beverages. In order to find one, you’d probably want to look at online reviews and talk to other people in your industry to see who they use so that you can find someone who is reliable and able to protect your items. Once you’ve narrowed down the options with your research, you’d probably want to call the beverage delivery companies that meet your standards so that you can talk to them about the services they offer and your situation in order to determine if they can complete the work you need.

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Anki Svensson

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