How did that ship get inside the bottle? It doesn’t make sense. Likewise, shipping wine bottles across the ocean may not make sense either. The topic of shipping and wine bottles was posed by Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence, during IMW’s recent “Impact of Climate Change on the Global Wine Trade” webinar.
It’s a timely topic because not only are ocean freight rates at peak highs right now for both dry and reefer, but there are certainly more cost effective ways to transport wine.
Although shipping wine by flexitank isn’t a new concept, the flexitank design has improved considerably and with it, the quality of the wine that’s now transported. New designs, like those offered by LiquA, prevent oxidation of the wine and reduce pressure on the container walls while maximizing the volume of wine transported. That’s an important consideration with ocean freight rates at or near record highs. Single-use flexitanks eliminate the risk of cross-contamination and they’re recyclable, too.
Similarly, canned wine is shedding the perception of low quality while simultaneously offering more efficient shipping and transportation.
According to Kenny Rochford, co-founder of canned wine brand West + Wilder, compared to a standard 12-bottle case of wine, a case of West + Wilder is about half the size and weight. During an interview last year, he mentioned that the weight and volume efficiencies were especially attractive to the airline and cruise ship markets.
For example, “We can get 90 cases of canned wine on a standard pallet, compared to 56 cases of bottled wine,” he said.
The cans are lined to protect the quality and integrity of the wine, and unlike glass, aluminum can be recycled many times over.
While flexitanks and cans were once associated with lesser quality wine, that’s no longer the case.
We have a hunch the industry is working on more innovations that will continue to optimize the supply chain with regards to shipping and transportation while satisfying the quest for improved sustainability, quality and aesthetics for the consumer. Stay tuned.