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The Challenges of Summer Shipping

This time of year is always difficult for direct sales of wine, especially to customers in states that heat up during the summer months.  Heat can cause the liquid to expand, pushing the corks up out of the bottle, resulting in leakage and damage to the wine’s structure.

How can you combat the heat?  Several fulfillment houses have come up with innovative ways to get wine to consumers in a timely fashion that minimizes the direct access to heat.

1)  Shipping via refrigerated truck to hubs in key states is the best solution – the wine can then be delivered the same day by carriers, reducing the amount of time spent in an uncontrolled environment.

2) Use styro shippers – yes, I know it is not environmentally correct but they do have styrofoam that breaks down these days.  And nothing insulates wine better.

2)  Ice packs can help as well – they generally take 48 hours to thaw (even at high temperatures) so if you are shipping 2 Day Air, the wine should arrive in good shape.

3)  Overnight delivery is an option, although very expensive – overnight packages must be delivered by 10:30 am, before the heat of the day.

The best solution may be to wait until it cools off in the fall – most wine consumers in hot states understand the need to be conscientious and hold shipments until the temperatures drop.   Whatever the solution, it is important to communicate with your customers and make sure they understand the options and the risks of shipping during the heat of the summer.

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