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Reply to "Shipping a wine collection"

I've never personally shipped wine, but I work in the distribution and storage division of a large CPG company that distributes very high value freight. So things you need to consider when choosing a shipper:

1. Make sure they carry insurance that will cover any lost, stolen, damaged, or compromised goods.

2. The driver will need to inspect your freight and do a piece count before you can securely package your wine. The exact contents of what you're shipping should be notated on the Bill of Lading (BOL).

3. Are they packaging the wine or are you? If wine is damaged due to your own faulty packaging, they may night cover it. At the very least it will be a hassle.

4. Do they have dedicated equipment (i.e. trucks) that their shipments ride on, or do they freight forward with a regional/national LTL (less than truck-load) carrier? If so, what carrier do they use, and is that carrier also insured?

5. When you do ship, I don't care how great the shipper seems to be, to the extent that you can, conceal and package your wine in a discreet way. Unfortunately due the current shortage of truck drivers in the U.S., there are less than scrupulous drivers out there who have been known to pilfer freight. Furthermore, it is highly likely your freight may end up at a freight consolidation center, at which point it will be exposed to anyone working on that shipping dock. To the extent that you can, investigate the route your freight will take, and look in to the consolidation centers it may travel through.

- Depending on how anal retentive you want to be, you can actually purchase data loggers to "ride with your wine" (we call them HOBOs) that will take temperature and humidity readings for the duration of your freight's transit. You may be able to rent them as well, but we own ours. The good ones can handle 40,000+ readings, and you can download everything to your PC once you get your freight.

6. Once your freight arrives, do not release the driver until you've un-wrapped your wine and inspected every bottle for damage or theft. You'll be asked to sign the BOL. Do not sign the BOL until you've inspected EVERYTHING. A BOL is a legal document between you and the carrier. If there is any damage or theft, you need to be sure to notate it on the BOL stating as such.

I know I didn't answer your questions about climate controlled shipping (they're called refer (refrigerated) trailers in the biz, but I thought I'd take a minute to walk you through the finer points of shipping high value products.

Good luck with the move!

Last edited by rvarob