Trailer Magazine

WINEDEPOT expands sites, fleet with Border Express

  • Posted on Thursday 17th, September 2020.

An expansion of its partnership with Border Express will see WINEDEPOT roll out a national network of temperature-controlled depots.

The company has reported the depots will be opened progressively in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth over the next six months.

To cater for expected growth WINEDEPOT is in the midst of growing its delivery fleet.

According to WINEDEPOT COO, Steven Alexander, who is overseeing the roll out of the new depot network, the move will provide a range of other benefits for the business and its customers.

“The first of these is that it allows us to expand our network of final mile carriers. Up until now we have relied exclusively on Australia Post to complete both our trade and consumer deliveries," he said.

"While we plan to continue using Australia Post for direct-to-consumer orders, we will engage with a selection of other carriers for our direct-to-trade orders which tend to be larger, more time sensitive and often have very specific delivery requirements," said Alexander.

“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."

The second as Alexander views it will be the ability to increase the number of sites where the company offers bonded sotrage.

“This has massive cash flow advantages for our customers who’s range includes beer and spirits as it allows them to delay the excise and duties payable, which should in turn increase our addressable market,” he said.

“Thirdly is that by 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," continued Alexander.

This may not sound like much, according to Alexander, but it will give customers using WINDEPOT's NDC the ability to send picking orders into the evening with guaranteed next day delivery service to all of the east coast capitals.

"Being able to service the entire east coast market from one inventory instance will make our National Distribution Centre a very attractive option for many producers,” said Alexander.

“Lastly but by not the least, the strategy to temperature-control our depots reinforces our customer proposition, reduces our cost of doing business and help us to build an even larger moat against potential competition.”

Digital Wines CEO Dean Taylor said he was excited by how WINEDEPOT’s partnership with Border Express was continuing to evolve.

“We are very fortunate to have the ongoing support of the Luff family who own and operate the Border Express business. Their confidence in our vision and willingness to continue to invest in the partnership is both exciting and encouraging given their 30 years of experience building the largest Australian owned express freight company," he said.

"I look forward to not only rolling our the new depot network but looking for other ways in which we grow our businesses together,” said Taylor.

Taylor, founder of Wine Ark, Australia’s largest climate-controlled wine storage business for private collectors, said he was excited to get back into the sector albeit at a commercial scale this time.

“When I launched Wine Ark in 1999, very few people realised the devastating impact that high and variable temperatures could have on wine. 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,” he said.

“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 being treated, up until now there hasn’t really been any other option.

“It is therefore my honour and privilege to set another benchmark for the industry by progressively rolling out a National Network of Temperature-Controlled Depots for the wine and beverage industry. I am confident that our move will be greatly appreciated by not only wine producers using our service but also consumers alike, when they receive a delivery from WINEDEPOT.”

Border Express Founder Max Luff said he was encouraged by the deepening partnership between the two businesses.

“I believe much of Border Express’ success comes from our strong family values. We never lose sight of the fundamentals of customer care and continually strive to deliver an exception service level for our customers. As the third generation of our family moves into the business, we’ve never been more focused on embracing innovation and setting benchmarks within our industry. We understand that this takes time, effort and patience,” he said.

“Dean’s vision for WINEDEPOT and the ethos that supports it aligns with our core values. To help him roll out a solution like this that not only makes the wine supply chain more efficient, but also delivers more dollars back into regional areas, is an honour and privilege,” said Luff.

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