Napa’s Wineshipping wins Wine, Beer & Spirits Industry Awards in supplier category
The supplier category winner in North Bay Business Journal’s alcohol beverage industry awards cites use of artificial intelligence capabilities as an industry trend.
Number of Employees: ~1,000
Major Customers: 900+
Describe your company: Wineshipping is the largest DTC logistics provider for alcoholic beverages, providing critical tools for storage, transport, and order fulfillment. Headquartered in Napa Valley, Wineshipping has a national presence with 2.2M sq. ft. of warehouse space across five strategic regions.
Through technological innovation and a proactive client support team, Wineshipping offers its partners the confidence to grow their businesses and serve their customers at the highest level
What is something about your company that people would be surprised to learn?
People are always surprised to learn that, despite our name, Wineshipping does a great deal more than simply ship wine. We are a full-service logistics partner, providing storage, inventory management, business analytics, and transport services in addition to order fulfillment. An increasing number of our clients are beverage brands outside of wine, including beer and spirits manufacturers.
How have requirements of your customers changed in the last five years, and what has your company done to meet those requirements?
In the last five years we’ve seen our clients really start to embrace online sales. A much greater proportion of our business is now coming from ecommerce rather than tasting room sales, phone campaigns, or scheduled wine clubs. Our account management team now provides sales analysis and benchmarking during quarterly business reviews, to make data clearer and more actionable.
What are two or three projects your company is in the midst of, or planning to begin within the next year?
2021 is going to be big. We’re expanding into established categories including beer and spirits, and helping these brands explore the DTC landscape as regulations soften. We’re also providing services in emerging categories like hard seltzer and kombucha.
In our warehouses we’re streamlining our operations and systems, as well as looking to improve efficiencies to cut costs further for our clients. Lastly, we’re developing our technology roadmap to prioritize the projects that are most in-demand from our clients.
How has the pandemic affected the business, and how has it been responding?
The wine industry has been hit hard, specifically on premise sales as the result of bar and restaurant closures.
However, direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales are up as more people choosing to enjoy wine at home during lockdown. We’re seeing these results in the form of increased shipment volumes, and we’ve been laser-focused on meeting that demand as we brace for the biggest holiday shopping season in history.
How does this challenge compare with others it has been facing in recent years?
It has pushed our team to develop operational improvements at hyper-speed; we’re now thinking ten steps ahead. It has certainly made us more empathetic to our customers as we work with them on the tools and services that will make the biggest impact on their businesses. COVID is a make-or-break scenario for these companies; we’re going to be part of the reason they make it.
What’s the outlook for online wine sales beyond the pandemic?
Online sales are the new normal for wine, and it’s unlikely that they’ll drop back down to pre-pandemic levels, as ecommerce is a megatrend that was already transforming our industry. Technology is making more wines available to consumers, wherever they may be.
AI is shaping the way people discover, learn about, and purchase their next favorite bottle, and businesses that lean into these trends will succeed. We’ll continue to be here for our businesses, offering solutions that help them rise to the occasion.