Winedepot will roll out a network of temperature-controlled depots across capital cities, partnering with Border Express to expand its delivery fleet, improve service levels and cater for expected growth in the direct-to-trade space.
Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth will have the temperature-controlled depots progressively rolled out over the next six months.
Digital Wines CEO Dean Taylor, who is also the founder of climate-controlled wine storage business for private collectors, Wine Ark, said he was excited to launch the initiative at a commercial scale.
“When I launched Wine Ark in 1999, very few people realised the devastating impact that high and variable temperatures could have on wine,” said Taylor.
“Almost singlehandedly we managed to educate private collectors as to how wine should be stored and set the benchmarks for that industry. However, there’s no point for the end consumer going to all that effort, if the wine is damaged in the supply chain before it gets to them.”
“What is scary is that very few distributors or 3PL providers utilise any temperature control in their warehouses. Temperatures in ambient warehouses can often reach over 40 degrees in summer at ground level and well over 50 degrees at higher levels.
“While most winery owners would hate to know that’s how their wine are been treated, up until now there hasn’t really been any other option.”
Winedepot COO Steven Alexander said the team will continue using Australia Post for direct-to-consumer orders, while it engages with a selection of other carriers for direct-to-trade orders, “which tend to be larger, more time sensitive and often have very specific delivery requirements”.
“Having access to more than one carrier allows us to maintain service levels when the network is congested more effectively. It also allows us to scale our platform more rapidly and de-risks our operation considerably. Introducing competition across the fleet also allows us to put pressure on improving service levels and costs,” said Alexander.
“Being based within Border Express’ existing freight network allows us to not only replenish our east coast depots overnight but also to cross-dock orders picked and packed at our National Distribution Centre (NDC) overnight too.
“This may not sound like much but it allows customers using our NDC the ability to send us picking orders into the evening with guaranteed next day delivery service to all of the east coast capitals.”
In June, Winedepot announced the launch of its 10,000-pallet climate-controlled national distribution centre in the Albury-Wodonga region.
Windepot – established by Digital Wine Ventures and Australia Post in 2019 – assists producers, distributors, importers and retailers by fulfilling orders from inventory reserves held in 'depots' in order to service key markets.