How Effective Shipping and Warehousing Allows for Cost-Effective Alcohol & Beverage Production Runs

July 7, 2022

How Effective Shipping and Warehousing Allows for Cost-Effective Alcohol & Beverage Production Runs


Port Jersey Logistics

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Ever wonder how that particular brand of beer is always available on the shelf of your grocery store? The transportation and warehousing industry has a significant role in the availability of various kinds of beverages. The transportation and warehousing of liquids require niche skills and equipment due to the very nature of the product. This industry has taken a significant hit during the pandemic and inflation. The war in Ukraine has created a shortage of raw materials, including wheat and barley, which has caused manufacturing delays.

Back home, rising fuel prices have only added to the rising prices of the food and beverage-related supply chain expenses. Delays in shipments and containers and the increasing cost of transportation and warehousing have added to the woes of the supply chain. There is a  need for logistics solutions from companies that have deep knowledge of the industry and decades of experience in handling the food and beverage supply chain. Spirits shipping and warehousing require a clear understanding of not only the transportation but also information on the real-time demand of different beverages because there is a mind-boggling variety of alcohol in the market. Manufacturers are always looking for the best way to ship alcohol so that supply meets demand, thus resulting in optimal use of raw materials. 

Understanding the Beverage Niche in the Modern Supply Chain

Beverages come in various flavors; therefore, their transportation and warehousing also differ. Demand for drinks will be constant, but some might see an increase in demand than others.  

As a whole, the beverage market will likely never see a significant decline in demand. The demand for some beverages is more prone to increase. For example, according to Brewers Association, the volume of craft brews grew 8%, while beer sales were up by 1% in 2021. Profit margins play an essential role in the transportation and warehousing industry. Some beverages are in greater demand during particular seasons.

With so many factors playing in the supply chain logistics of beverage transportation,  partnering with an industry leader with state-of-the-art food and beverage transport, including gourmet items consumed with craft beers, requires confectionary logistics. In turn, the whole process becomes imperative for the transportation and warehousing needs of these leisure-like commodities.

The alcohol industry has come a long way since people use different drinks to commemorate various occasions. With more variety in the stability and transport needs of these different mixers or sensitive goods, manufacturers have to pay special attention to alcohol shipping labels and look for the best ways of shipping alcohol or other specialty beverages.

Alcoholic Beverages

Beer is likely the go-to drink for most people when "simply chilling" around. According to Statista, the retail market value of alcohol is expected to reach $2.2 trillion by 2025. It includes both in-home and out-of-home consumption. Beer shipping and warehousing, for example, have to be executed quickly so that the flavors do not become stale. A logistics partner with vast experience is a wise choice for manufacturers for the best way of shipping alcohol. Wine and other spirits require organized and cost-effective methods of transport that involve the latest technology in transportation and warehousing. 

Performance Beverages

The functional drinks manufacturing industry is growing with a high profit margin and market demand on the rise. According to Grand View Research, about 60% of males and 40% of females consume sports or performance drinks. This trend is dynamic, and real-time access to the demand in the market will benefit manufacturers in optimizing their resources. Many of these industries are start-ups and employ direct shipping to the end-user.   Partnering with a logistics company that is a subject-matter expert in the transportation and warehousing industry for all types of beverages will give manufacturers added advantage in this highly competitive market. 

Perishable Beverages

Milk, juices, and drinks such as kombucha require very careful transportation because of their quick perishable nature. They need temperature-controlled transportation and warehousing as heat can spoil the contents, and extreme cold can freeze them. They must arrive at the store shelves in pristine conditions, so reefers with real-time access are imperative. New brands that contain CBD and mushroom-based ingredients are making their way into the market. Since these drinks presently have a relatively minor call, suppliers need to know the minimum required quantity.

3PL providers with real-time market visibility can be an excellent resource for such manufacturers. Manufacturers and shippers of the beverage industry depend a lot on the information provided by the logistics provider. To combat rising costs of raw materials, fuel prices, and the unreal trends of inflation requires a partner with deep knowledge of the food and beverage industry, an expert in the transportation and warehousing industry combined with real-time tracking, and a vast network of carriers.

Common Issues With Beverage Shipping and Warehousing to Know About

The logistics industry of the beverage industry needs customized solutions as it deals with the movement of raw materials to the last mile delivery of the product. Shipping and warehousing needs also differ vastly. 

For example, beer warehouse needs vary extensively from water or juice storage. Warehouses need innovative solutions that have real-time tracking and total visibility and can connect every tier in the supply chain. A survey by Körber reports that more than 90% of supply chain professionals are not ready to handle the industry's challenges and further iterates that less than 50% of professionals can address multiple supply chain issues. Korber observes that one in three logistics providers rely on manual storing, picking, and packing methods. Niche knowledge such as alcohol shipping labels and packing methods are vital to the transportation and warehousing industry. 

Inventory Scheduling and Control During Shipping

Inventory control and schedules refer to maintaining optimum stock in the warehouses and retail stores so that stakeholders can meet market demand. Inventory control plays a significant role in spirits' shipping and warehousing. 

For example, automating the processes of beer shipping and warehousing makes it economical and efficient. A well-oiled warehouse management system coupled with real-time visibility can go a long way in meeting challenges such as spoilage or theft. Expert guidance from logistics providers will help stores determine the minimum quantity of the product they need to have in hand. Tracking the shipment will also help them determine the product's shelf age, allowing them to manage their stock efficiently.   

Improving Beverage Product Traceability and Safety

The tracking software uses cutting-edge technology tools that connect the entire supply chain and provide information on the warehouse and in-transit stock. This helps mitigate challenges such as loss or theft of shipment. Not confined solely to tracking in-transit shipments, traceability is also essential to monitoring beverages stocked in warehouses. For example, according to Clean Beer, beer shipping and warehousing require the constant temperature to be maintained at 38 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Temperature is best held by automation, and real-time tracking and visibility in a beer warehouse make troubleshooting easy if necessary. Tracking also ensures proper handling and delivery of beer and spirits shipping and warehousing. 

Managing Inventory Levels and Availability of Units

Beer and spirits shipping and warehousing require a transportation and warehousing industry expert with deep market knowledge, years of experience, and the latest data collection methodologies. Effective inventory control reduces wastage and spoilage, increases retailer cash flow, and increases demand. Time is the essence in the logistics of beverages such as beer and calls for a foolproof process in beer shipping and warehousing. Retailers using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) or last-in, first-out (LIFO) method benefit significantly by adapting Open To Buy (OTB) inventory planning. Transportation and warehousing of beer and other alcohol become effective as retailers get real-time inventory numbers and replenishment time.

Keeping Inventory Moving With Effective Load Matching

Spirits shipping and warehousing companies need to keep the inventory moving by either load matching or capacity sourcing. Load matching is more ad hoc; transportation and warehousing companies need warehouse hubs and an extensive network of drivers to ensure the best way to ship alcohol. It ensures that inventory will keep moving, thereby putting fresh products on the shelf every time. 

Optimizing inventory control methods and load matching provides efficient shipping and warehousing of beer and other spirits. Special events and holiday seasons dictate demand for alcohol, which can cause disruptions in the supply chain process. Load matching software can automate the process, reducing manual steps and ensuring the best ways to ship alcohol. 

Spirits and beer shipping and warehousing is a niche industry in the transportation and warehousing industry. Manufacturers need to source raw materials from various sources and then ship the finished product to places far and wide. 3PL providers who provide transportation and warehousing need to know several other compliance rules like licensing requirements of different states and knowledge of alcohol shipping labels.   

A leader in this industry keeps itself abreast of the best ways to ship alcohol, uses automation and technology for transparency and visibility, and has deep knowledge of the market. 

Identifying the Underlying Weaknesses With Traditional Beverage Shipping Services

Beverage transportation and warehousing have come a long way since wines were stored in amphorae! But challenges continue to plague this niche industry because the demand for beverages is dynamic. The COVID-19 pandemic, busy lifestyles leading to higher levels of physical and mental stress, and the increase of general awareness of wellness and health in society have led to innovation and manufacture of new brands of beverages. Industry Dive observes that more than 40% of consumers want mood-based food and beverage experiences. 

The customer is the emperor in the beverage industry! While innovation in food and beverages continues, the same cannot be said for the transportation and warehousing industry. The most significant trend is the rise of the omnichannel consumer experience, which gives the customer a "store-like" experience. 

The alcohol market is flooded with options, and the demands differ by demographics and region. In this scenario, traditional packaging, transportation, and warehousing do little to meet these complex factors involved in spirits shipping and warehousing. Manufacturers are always searching for the best ways to ship alcohol. A 3PL provider who can mitigate these challenges will help them focus on their core business and stress less about spirits, beer shipping, and warehousing. 

The food and beverage supply chain starts with procuring raw materials. It includes packaging, transportation, and warehousing, including packaging, repackaging, and product labeling. Alcohol shipping labels need to be carefully attended to per state regulations. Beer shipping and warehousing still follow the three-tier shipping method putting a heavy strain on the supply chain. Therefore manufacturers need to partner with a transportation and warehousing industry leader from labeling through transportation.

Lack of Focus on Current Consumer Demands and Trends

Manufacturers need eyes on the current market trends and demands. Beverages fulfill emotional needs. A transportation and warehousing partner using technology-based solutions can be very resourceful by supplying the manufacturers with this data. In turn, it helps the manufacturers predict future trends while catering to the present needs of the market.  

Growing Impact of E-Commerce and On-Demand Shipping

Omnichannel consumer experience has risen with e-commerce. It has led to direct fulfillment and on-demand shipping. Transportation and warehousing partners need to use load matching and have a network of carriers to meet this growing need. Delivery hubs are vital to express and one- and two-day shipping and can save transportation costs.  

Specialized Drink and Niche Market Popularity

Kombucha, energy drinks, and specialized teas are just some of the beverages that have revolutionized the way people consume beverages. Even the beer industry is seeing changes in tropical flavors, according to SevenFifty, among other trends. Shipping, warehousing,  packing, and labeling of these specialized drinks, which have a niche market, differs from traditional spirits or beer warehousing and shipping. Partnership with a visionary leader in the transportation and warehousing industry is vital to the speedy and efficient delivery of such beverages. 

Company Standing and Initiatives

The transportation and warehousing industry is one of the largest consumers of energy resources. Rising fuel prices, inflation, and customer demand affect nonalcoholic beverages, spirits shipping, and warehousing. Climate change has created the need for sustainable solutions in the transportation and warehousing industry. E-commerce demands warehouse hubs that increase accessibility for the manufacturer and consumer. A logistics industry leader well aware of the best way to ship alcohol and other beverages and transporting raw materials efficiently is critical for manufacturers to focus on their core business. 

How Better Warehousing Logistics and Shipping Allows for Cost-Effective Beverage Handling

Food and beverage manufacturing and distribution can be a tricky business. The prices of the raw materials used in this industry fluctuate from hour to hour. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), 88.1% of manufacturers pointed to supply chain challenges as their primary business concern in the first quarter of 2022. 85.7% said that increase in raw material costs is a primary concern. Manufacturers absorb these costs as consumers expect stable pricing at least for a certain period.

 The food production, transportation, and warehousing industry get bogged down by several rules and regulations that lead to increased costs and delays in shipping. Inventory and resource management tools can play a significant role in mitigating these costs. Outside sources that provide comprehensive transportation and warehousing solutions can fill gaps and improve profitability. The following three steps can help make beverage logistics more cost-effective:

Partner with Suppliers

Partnership with the right supplier who understands the manufacturer's business goals will help both parties find mutual solutions to supply chain challenges, from the shipping of raw materials for making the drinks to the transportation and warehousing of beverages. Specialized knowledge in beverage logistics, such as beer shipping, warehousing, and other drinks, can relieve manufacturers of that significant challenge. Understanding the market and sharing that knowledge with manufacturers will build transparency and communication and foster great relationships. 

Partner with Carriers 

Consolidating the shipment of inbound freight through FTL can reduce transportation costs for beverage manufacturing companies. It also dramatically increases efficiency at the distribution center. Using FTL wherever possible mitigates damages from handling as the goods go directly to the destination. An FTL shipment is faster as the route is direct and faster. Manufacturers save a lot of money by using FTL to transport large quantities of drinks such as beer to the beer warehouse for further distribution. 

Leverage Innovative Technologies

Spirits transportation and warehousing companies using innovative transport management systems (TMS) can lean the entire supply chain process. It can optimize valuable human resources. These tools can help optimize inbound freight management by serving as a base to implement allowance programs for freight costs and unloading expenses with suppliers. Manufacturers can benefit significantly by integrating their systems into the systems of the supplier, thereby increasing the visibility of their product well into the last-mile delivery. 

Due to fluctuating market demands and unpredictable times, the supply chain is no longer simply delivering goods from one place to another. Supply chain solutions must provide value-added services such as inventory management, data collection and analysis, deep knowledge of rules and regulations of best ways to ship alcohol and other beverages, and understanding of market demand. 

Technology Leads to Better Planning, Logistics, and Delivery With Better End-to-End Productivity

The transportation and warehousing industry is, in reality, a high-tech industry. Supply chain management is one of the highest-paying industries. The Association For Supply Chain Management (ASCM) says that more than half of the newly graduated students found employment within ninety days. Most Fortune 500 companies have a lot of job openings for those in supply chain management. 

According to a West Monroe survey, "51% of respondents use ERP in their S&OP processes. In comparison, 60% use demand planning and forecasting technology." - A visionary leader in the supply chain industry is well aware of all these trends and therefore adopts the latest technological solutions for their transportation and warehousing needs. Whether raw materials for the production of beverages are imported or sourced domestically, , complete visibility of the product cycle and its shipments are available to all the supply chain tiers. 

It affects the transportation and warehousing industry and is a vital resource for data science researchers, economists, policymakers, and analysts. Here are a few of the technologies making it possible.

The Internet of Things 

Today's supply chain today is a complex function of everything from transportation to warehouse fulfillment. Manufacturers are always looking for economical and efficient fulfillment solutions. Cloud-based innovative solutions provide economic and viable technical solutions to this challenge. Technology solutions for beverage logistics companies such as beer warehouses need real-time data tracking and automated climate control. Automated processes of shelving beer or wine bottles, alcohol shipping, labeling, invoicing, and generating reports are all part of spirits and beer warehousing and shipping trends.

Artificial Intelligence

Various technology has given rise to innovations that make it easier for artificial intelligence platforms to act on information and execute more loads. New technologies, such as tagging, low-cost sensors, and visibility initiatives through last-mile delivery have improved traceability and visibility greatly. A combination of low-cost sensors, robots, and high-level computing builds a robust suite of systems that can manage logistics almost independently of human intervention.  

This same cutting-edge technology has disrupted the transportation and warehousing industry from a product-based sector to a service industry. "Lightning-speed-delivery" for the delivery of products is the trend in the transportation and warehousing industry, and part of that relies on using technology to act on information. With new drinks in the market, a mood-based demand for the product, Omnichannel fulfillment, and variety in spirits and beer technology plays a vital role in the nonalcoholic beverage and alcoholic beverage such as the beer warehousing and transportation industry. Of course, that brings up the next evolution of capabilities, automated processes.

Automated Processes

Beer warehouses house fast-moving beverages that require controlled temperatures. Drinks will retain their freshness due to the automation of the warehouse climate. Collaborative mobile robots are the future of this heavily automated industry, thus ensuring greater scalability and flexibility in operating spirits transportation and warehousing. Another innovative method that is rising is on-demand warehousing. It connects those with additional warehousing space with those needing space on a single platform.  

Supply chain management has moved away from traditional methods to new innovative approaches. Yet the success of the entire process lies in speedy and perfect delivery of the product to the customer. Therefore, collaborating with an expert 3PL provider such as Port Jersey Logistics is most sensible. Of course, many other advancements are coming to make the industry more transparent and actionable, including blockchain capabilities. 

Blockchain is an immutable digital ledger that tracks the entire lifecycle of a shipment from its raw materials through its end users. It helps supply chain professionals ensure error-free transparency. As a result, blockchain makes it easier for multiple systems to connect without compromise, so industry leaders in the transport and warehousing industry quickly adapt to changing conditions.

Partner With the Right ComFysypany to Enhance Beverage Production Runs

Food and beverage manufacturing is a complex procedure that involves several moving components. The best way to ship alcohol and others requires partnering with a logistics partner who not only has decades of experience but is also aware of current trends and has a system in place to quickly adapt to the ever-changing scenario of spirits and warehousing and transportation. With its sister companies, Tyler Distribution, Continental Logistics, and 21st Century Distribution, Port Jersey Logistics provides comprehensive end-to-end solutions for all your transportation and warehousing needs. Contact Port Jersey Logistics to see the difference!

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