Last mile delivery: A strong finish for beverages

Wine connoisseurs and beer enthusiasts judge a beverage on the quality of its finish; the last impression it leaves on your palate as you swallow it. The finish is one of the most important qualities that affects how much you like the wine, beer or spirit, and it will influence your future selections.

This same principle can also be applied to your beverage logistics.  The final hurdle in global supply chain logistics is the delivery. Without a strong finish, everything that came before it can be inconsequential.  

Last mile delivery is all about wholesale delivery – getting the product to restaurants, bars and retail establishments.  This is particularly important to our Californian brewers and vintners, who produce a large percentage of their nation’s finest wine and beer. Around 240 million 9L equivalent cases of Californian crafted wine was consumed within the US in 2020. Overall production was around 635.5 million gallons / 2.9 billion liters (Statista). 

I asked Elly Hartshorn, Last Mile Operations Director about their west coast service

“Our last mile team in the US managed over 34,000 SKUs, delivering over 465,000 boxes of product worth almost one hundred million dollars (2020).  The service is so popular, it has a waiting list.

Why?  It’s because we backed our service with a really powerful customer portal.   It goes beyond our network of highly secure, temperature-controlled warehouses and dedicated fleet of temperature-controlled trucks.  We give our customers the ability to answer questions about inventory levels and order whereabouts.  Producers, brokers, on premise and off premise partners involved in the order can monitor the product's journey and ETA, with live tracking and photo confirmation upon delivery.  No other local provider does that.

Hillebrand is also a ‘neutral’ service provider.  We’re not owned by large wine distributors which is often the case with other delivery operators within the industry. So with us, we don’t prioritize anything other than good service and on-time delivery for everyone.

We offer next day services, estimated delivery windows and even show you what number delivery you are in your driver’s daily schedule.”


Why the final steps matter
Last mile delivery is about speed, but it’s also about experience.  It’s a game-changer when delivery drivers are familiar with the nuances of the trade – and that is reassuring to any producer or distributor of high-quality beverages like craft beer, wine and spirits. Each stage of your supply chain is important, but none more so than the final delivery of your product to its ultimate destination.

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