From a leading logistics provider

October 11, 2021
How to Keep your Wine and Alcohol Logistics Flowing this Christmas
How to Keep your Wine and Alcohol Logistics Flowing this Christmas

The countdown to Christmas 2021 is now on and with it comes the alcohol sector’s busiest time of the year.

Wine, beer, vodka, champagne and other beverages are all on the menu this festive season. This year especially, the sector is expecting to see increased demand as families enjoy spending the Christmas season together and Christmas staff parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations are back on!

As far back as September, many wine and alcohol businesses will have begun increasing their stock-holding to guarantee timely fulfilment of orders this festive season. But, to make sure this time of year runs smoothly, there’s a few important logistical measures that need to be put in place.

Stay ahead of the game

In the wine and alcohol sector, Christmas is of course one of the busiest times of the year, so you need to make sure you are prepared with enough stock to satisfy your customers’ needs. This means planning ahead to ensure you have the bottles you need on shelves.

If you import into the UK from another country, then you need to make sure you have a plan in place for ordering stock and packaging materials to your warehouse in plenty of time. If you are importing wine and alcohol, you’ll want to look into Bonded Warehousing, especially if the lead up to Christmas is a hectic time for your business.

What is Bonded Warehousing?

When importing alcohol from overseas, businesses will be left with an import tax, called ‘tariffs’ or ‘duty.’ These taxes are immediately payable by the importer, even if the alcohol has not yet been sold.

Businesses can avoid these taxes by using a ‘Bonded Warehouse’ or ‘bond’. Alcohol can be stored in a Bonded Warehouse and undergo further packaging or processing without needing to pay duty.

When, and only when, the product has left the warehouse, been distributed or sold, does the duty need to be paid.

How can Bonded Warehousing help you this Christmas?

As alcohol and wine orders begin to increase in the lead up to Christmas, businesses using a Bonded Warehouse can save money.

Being able to defer duty payments gives alcohol and wine manufacturers more time and flexibility to store, package and plan the distribution of their goods without incurring a tax bill.

It will also help increase businesses’ cash flow, as it avoids having to pay taxation costs until sales revenue is received or assured.

What other benefits does Bonded Warehousing have?

Businesses may be uncertain on how quickly their Christmas stock will clear. Bonded Warehousing can allow your products to be stored in a warehouse indefinitely, so there’s no need to worry if your busy season isn’t as busy as you expected.

Using a Bonded Warehouse can also increase your supply chain speed, which is especially important over the Christmas period. By pre-ordering and storing alcohol and wine in advance of anticipated demand, you can be certain your stock will be ready to be dispatched when needed. There’s no need to scramble over the busy festive period as your product is right where it needs to be and ready to be delivered to its final destination.

Other logistical issues to look out for

Wine and beer are particularly susceptible to changes in temperature. There’s a large risk of having your product harmed because of freezing in the lead up to Christmas. Bonded warehouses can prevent this due to their protected and climate-controlled environment.

Direct sunlight can also damage wine and beer, with oxidation spoiling the taste. Using a Bonded Warehouse directly from the factory can ensure your products avoid direct sunlight and keep them in pristine condition for this season’s celebrations!

How can Johnston Logistics UK help you this Christmas season?

As bonded warehousing and logistics experts, we handle the logistics for wine merchants, drink companies and retailers including Halfwine, Vine & Cork, The Wine Society and Buoyant. We also partner with Asda to process around 50% of all wine sold in their UK supermarkets.

We typically handle over 20,000 pallets of alcoholic drinks each year and, as one of the few HMRC Bonded Warehouses in East Anglia, we can import, export and distribute beer, wine and spirits whilst deferring tax and duties.

Handling over 1 million transactions each year, here at Johnston Logistics UK we’re experts in providing a full range of third-party logistics from receiving, storing and distributing products to individually fulfilling eCommerce orders. If you need any help for your wine and alcohol Christmas logistics, we can help. Contact us today.