NAPA -- Wine direct-shipping startup Vin-Go LLC has retooled after a setback involving the company founder earlier this year.
Vin-Go now has 15 clients of various sizes for direct-shipping and three-tier distribution, according to General Manager Edmund Delaney.
His father, Vin-Go executive member James Delaney, brought him in Feb. 1 from a Wall Street stock-trading job to get the company back on track.
Vin-Go was founded in June 2009 as a wine-oriented branch of We Ship Express, a New York-based premium products fulfillment provider. In early 2010, the company founder was arrested on federal charges relating to a previous hotel job in the Virgin Islands.
"Some people said we should change the name, but it does well to describe what we do providing wineries with competitive rates via economies of scale," Edmund Delaney said.
Instead of doing everything in-house the company built that scale by building vendor alliances.
For example, Vin-Go brought in WSN's Fort software platform, which allows tracking and management of orders from virtual wine shop and physical point of sale to delivery.
Instead of the original plan to handle regulatory compliance such as filing reports required by many states for home wine deliveries, Vin-Go now refers clients to Compli Beverage Compliance, which has an office in Napa.
Vin-Go currently uses We Ship Express distribution warehouses in New York, Texas, Illinois and Florida as "gateways." For clients that want a hub-and-spoke approach to serving distant markets, cases are line-hauled in temperature-controlled trucks from California to these locations for delivery to trade accounts via company trucks or to consumers by common carrier.
That service could expand to other We Ship Express facilities in Nevada, South Carolina and elsewhere in Texas, according to Mr. Delaney.
Vin-Go is experimenting with putting cold packs in packages leaving the New York and Texas gateways to keep wine chilled during delivery in hot weather.
Other services being pursued are entrance into beer and spirits shipping, shipments to Canada and a lower carbon footprint shipping program using hybrid trucks or highly efficient planes for overnight to three-day service. Mr. Delaney notes that laws on shipping liquor out of state are stringent.
Vin-Go operates out of a 4,000-square-foot warehouse at 194 Camino Oruga in south Napa and is looking to expand early next year.
For more information, call 707-251-8189 or visit www.vingo.net.