Overcoming Common Wine Shipping Challenges

Posted by Benjamin Meskin on Jun 13, 2018 8:00:00 AM
Benjamin Meskin

 

wine shippingLike any business that deals with alcohol, shipping wine can come with an abundance of challenges. Getting your wine to your clients or customers without any issues is not always possible, but there are ways to prevent those situations and to deal with them when they do happen despite taking precautions. Here are some common wine shipping challenges, as well as methods to combat them.

 

 

Temperature Fluctuations

 

 

The ideal temperature for wine is between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Fluctuations of more than 5 degrees can cause the liquid volume to expand and contract, possibly causing seals to leak and contaminate the contents of the bottle. So how do you control the temperature of your wine shipment? Much like monitoring the temperature in a wine cellar to maintain the quality of its contents, wine shipments can be temperature controlled. Modern technology has made it possible to create monitoring systems that can be used in wine cases and pallets to monitor the temperature and send information to a digital cloud. The system then can send summaries and even alerts, allowing companies to evolve and modify their shipping practices when needed. For example, you may need to limit shipping to certain states during certain times of the year due to extreme temperatures.

 

 

Signature Only

 

 

Receiving wine requires an adult signature in every state, which can be difficult since the majority of adults aren't home during the day when deliveries generally happen. Encouraging clients to have their packages delivered to a business address can cut down on this problem significantly and prevent any costs associated with redelivery charges for your company. Alternatively, you can ship to a FedEx or UPS Ship center or location and have it held for pick up.

 

 

Regulations

 

 

It's important to be aware of every state's wine shipping laws and regulations. The majority of the United States has relatively relaxed laws dealing with wine delivery, but there are a few states that present some pretty serious wine shipping challenges. In South Dakota for example, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor to receive more than 12 cases of wine. Before you inadvertently get one of your customers into any sort of legal trouble, its best to research every state's individual laws pertaining to wine shipping and delivery and educate all your employees on them as well. This chart from Winemag.com lays out each states' wine laws and makes it easier to familiarize yourself with them.  You can find more details about how to ship wine under multiple regulations in our previous blog.

 

 

Protecting Your Cargo

 

 

Wine stored in glass bottles can be challenging to ship unless you somehow preserve every unit in transit. Some of the ways to do this are common sense, like selecting the proper containers and using sufficient packing materials, but there are other less obvious things you can do to protect your cargo. Companies like Cabrella can offer customized wine shipping insurance to protect your wine in instances of damage during the shipping process. Having shipping insurance will also allow you to reimburse your customers or replace items when the unexpected happens without restricting your cash flow.

  

 

Adaptability

 

 

Wine is a complicated product. The bottles vary from inexpensive to irreplaceable. With that amount of vast diversity, you have to be able to adapt. If your business caters to a particular niche of clientele, a system that allows you to individualize the levels of clients and create a custom order management system for your specific levels is vital.

 

 

Using Social Media to Your Advantage

 

 

You're probably already using social media for marketing, and according to AdWeek, 88% of businesses do, but how can it help with shipping? The primary benefit of social media is being able to connect with your customers on a personal level and even instantly if necessary. You can use your social media accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to spread valuable information about your shipping practices and even wine shipping laws for specific states. The more your customer is aware of, the less chance there is for mishaps on their end. You'll be readily available to answer shipping questions from your customers using each platform's messaging app, giving them some peace of mind that they're dealing with a caring, reliable company. They'll be more likely to forgive mistakes if you've already established their trust.

 

 

Keeping Track of Shipping Details

 

 

There is a lot that goes into shipping wine. State laws and regulations, climates in different regions, weight and size requirements, etc. Not only does Cabrella offer shipping insurance, but they also can integrate your shipping system, simplifying things and notifying you of problems and necessary changes. Their software can make everyday wine shipping challenges a thing of the past.

 

 

High Expenses

 

 

Let's face it; shipping wine is not cheap. About 20% of every dollar spent on wine online goes towards shipping costs. As a business owner, this means that if there is a problem with a shipment and you become responsible for reimbursing the customer or paying for a reshipment, you are significantly lowering your profits. Add in the fact that more and more customers are looking for low cost or free shipping when shopping online, and you have a tricky situation on your hands. That makes it even more imperative that you utilize a system like Cabrella that can significantly lower the chances of needing to reimburse your customers. The customers get their wine on time and intact, and you keep all your profits.

 

Wine shipping challenges do not have to prohibit your business from running effectively. Applying these easy solutions can ensure that your customers are receiving their wine in the best condition possible without compromising your standards or costing you a fortune. Overcoming common wine shipping challenges is entirely possible with a little research and planning.

 

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