The UK wine industry faces steep hikes in transport and logistics costs when shipping from the EU, largely due to Brexit. London-based sustainable wine packaging start-up Garçon Wines, the inventor of multi-award winning eco, flat wine bottles, demonstrates how their space-saving format can help UK wine importers of bottled wines offset some of this increased and damaging financial burden.
As a truly global industry, the world of wine is heavily reliant on seamless transportation of products across borders. Data from the WSTA states that of the wine consumed in the UK, 99 percent is imported – roughly half from the EU and half from further afield. The cost of shipping goods from Europe to the UK has already risen sharply this year. According to transport management platform Transporeon, the average shipping cost of a ferry load of goods from France, the largest provider of wine to the UK, was 39 percent higher in the first week of 2021 compared with the average for the third quarter of last year.
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the knock-on effect of Brexit’s haulage implications will likely be felt heavily in the pockets of the UK’s wine importers, and consequently passed on to end consumers. According to recent industry insight published in the Financial Times in January 2021, the UK’s 33 million wine drinkers could see the cost of a single bottle of wine rise an estimated £1.50 in the wake of Brexit, if means to counterbalance these hikes in costs are not found.
Thinking outside the box, Garçon Wines’ innovative wine bottles help wine companies unlock more efficient logistics and game-changing savings throughout the supply chain, by looking inside the box (case of wine). Through innovating in shape, their full-sized, 75cl bottles are 40 percent spatially smaller than traditional round, glass wine bottles of the same volume. This impactful improvement in shape means companies can fit significantly more wine on a pallet, slashing the financial and environmental costs of palletised transport to an extent which can see savings offset recently inflated costs.
Traditional glass wine bottles are a spatially inefficient, heavy and fragile packaging format. Their average pallet configuration sees 56 cases of 9-litres, or 12 bottles, of wine on a pallet, so 672 bottles. By contrast, 1056 full-sized flat wine bottles can be packed on a UK pallet and 1080 bottles can be packed on a standard Euro pallet. In some instances, companies that use Garçon Wines’ space-saving bottles have benefited from up to 91 percent more wine on a pallet in comparison to their typical glass bottle configurations. Weight savings further slash financial costs through reducing fuel costs. Importantly, the lightweight, compact nature of Garçon Wines’ bottle, made from 100 percent recycled PET, also helps reduce transportation carbon emissions. The glass bottle is the single largest contributor to wine’s carbon footprint and this innovation helps mitigate the environmental impact of shipping wine.
Amelia Dales, Commercial Director at Garçon Wines, comments, “Brexit has presented additional complexities and costs when it comes to importing wine. Notwithstanding the additional administrative costs, a 30 to 50 percent rise in haulage prices are expected. Faced with these new challenges, many wine companies are having to carefully assess transport costs to find ways to improve logistical efficiency. Switching to our bottle allows companies to benefit from reducing both their environmental and financial costs - whilst also providing a unique point of differentiation on shelf and satisfying consumer convenience and sustainability expectations.
With these new challenges also comes the opportunity to rethink how logistics can be optimised. As well as in bottles, the UK is known for importing great volumes of wine in bulk; according to Bulk Wine Club, the UK saw its imports of bulk wine increase by 11.5 percent in volume terms last year compared to 2019. It will be interesting to monitor how the proportions of bulk vs bottled imports change due to the extra costs created by Brexit. At Garçon Wines we’re pleased to also provide a solution for those who usually import bottled wines to send us their liquid in bulk to be filled into our bottles here in the UK as another option to streamline operations and cut costs.”
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For more information or images, please contact the Garçon Wines team on email@example.com