A look into world bulk wine shipping

In the past few years, there have been a series of huge disruptions to the shipping industry. The impact this has had on bulk wine supply chains and shipments, has really been felt by the longer “Old World” supply lanes. Why? The shipping routes and transit times are longer, meaning they are exposed to more port calls and subsequently more ports delays, in some cases port omissions.

Shipping reliability hit an all-time low earlier this year, with only 30% of vessels arriving on schedule. This made it very difficult for supply chain planning, with the erratic transit times unreliable sailing schedules. Below is a graph on historical shipping reliability performance.

world bulk wine


Compounding the problem for the bulk wine industry, was the huge global displacement of shipping containers. Combine that with port congestions, it made the supply of 20ft bulk-grade containers short in supply.


How has this impacted world bulk wine shipping freight rates? 

Unfortunately bulk shippers have been hit by both increasing ocean freight rates and shipping vessel fuel costs in the last 12 months. On some trade lanes, we have seen sea freight rates quadruple. What we are seeing now, is a softening on sea shipping rates and on some trade lanes. 


Who are the main world bulk wine trading countries?

Bulk wine (wine packaged in more than 10 litres) is the second largest wine category by volume exported, according to the OIV state of wine and vine report for 2021. Although it grew 5% volume wise compared to 2020 levels, its export value decreased 5%.


Interestingly, world bulk wine shipments account for 33% of the total volume of wine shipped globally, but only represented 7% of the total value of exported wine. Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia are the largest exporters of bulk wine in terms of value.

Some world bulk wine facts:

  • Bulk wine in Germany makes up 56% of the country’s total imported volumes. 

  • The USA was the second largest importer of bulk wine in 2021, with 32% of its volume arriving in bulk. In terms of exports, 50% of the wine shipped out of the USA is in bulk. 

  • The UK is the third largest importer of wine and bulk wine makes up 35% of the total volume - the country’s third largest category.  

  • For Australian wine, bulk wine represents 55% of its total exported volume and 23% of its total exported value.

  • Canada exports 99% of its wine volume in bulk 

If you are looking to ship wine in bulk, our experts are here to help you.  

Hillebrand Gori flexitanks are 100% recyclable. We've made them in collaboration with wine experts, to include a protective barrier, that safeguards wine from the risks of oxygen ingress and taint compounds.

We offer advice from shipment planning to customs and delivery, plus, we’ll provide you with on-site training and technical support to make sure your bulk wine shipments run smoothly.


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