The microbrew (or craft beer, as it is popularly known) industry is growing at a tremendous rate. According to market research firm Fact.MR“From 2017 to 2021, the market size of the global market for craft beer expanded at a CAGR of almost 5%. North America will likely hold the 36% market share of the growing demand for craft beer by 2032.

To reach and exceed that level of growth, brewers, shippers, and carriers will need to collaborate to create an end-to-end craft brewery logistics strategy that results in exceptional digital customer experiences. When moving freight, brewers and shippers are looking to:

  • Improve proactive communication.

  • Get better processes from order to cash.

  • Leverage end-to-end visibility so they can manage by exception.

Those three things will help ensure that craft beer and wine transport results in on-time, in-full deliveries that drive positive customer experiences. This blog addresses five ways to make that happen.

1. Increase Visibility Into Inbound and Outbound Deliveries

Supply chains are rife with uncertainties and disruption. Inclement weather, hazardous road conditions, and limited driver availability are vital considerations in craft brewery logistics. Shippers and breweries rely on the latest technologies to gain real-time insights into carriers’ inventory, orders, location, and other crucial points. Leveraging technologies and data-driven insights help reduce overhead and deadheading while streamlining freight management to improve freight management. The ability to share real-time updates regarding location and shipment conditions with end customers provides a positive digital customer experience.

A transportation management system (TMS) that offers end-to-end visibility empowers shippers to proactively mitigate disruptions and delays in real-time through a single platform accessible by all stakeholders. This approach is key to providing enhanced digital customer experiences.

2. Use Digital Systems to Manage by Exception

With a partnership that provides an end-to-end craft brewery logistics strategy and complete transparency, breweries can manage by exception. Efficiencies gained through tech-enablement play a key role in delivering positive digital customer experiences. Real-time updates keep breweries flexible and ready to take action when disruptions and delays occur. Automated alerts enable breweries, shippers, and carriers alike to immediately begin mitigation efforts, including rerouting a shipment to avoid a prolonged delay or arranging a replacement shipment when needed to ensure an on-time, in-full delivery. Proactive management saves time, alleviates stress, and helps control costs.

Real-time reports and data also help facilitate prompt invoicing and improve inventory management and planning–all critical components of delivering a robust digital customer experience.

3. Choose a Distributor With a Wider Driver Pool

Attracting and retaining drivers is always a challenge, even with the influx of talent from varied backgrounds. As the demand for beer and wine transport grows, it’s crucial to partner with a craft brewery logistics provider that has the technology to create a vast pool of pre-vetted drivers and manage them.

Using apps to relay real-time updates helps eliminate delays and missed pickups or deliveries. Few providers have tech solutions that facilitate a wider pool of drivers to ensure excellent digital customer experiences. For drivers, partnering with a provider that has a dedicated app that tracks their time, location, and even payment status makes delivering freight so much easier. Having a dedicated point of contact and live 24/7 support are other factors to consider before choosing a partner.

4. Leverage Shared Views to Track All Movements and Mind Shipment ETA

Now more than ever, breweries and shippers need a technology partner that provides the platforms and features required to provide excellent digital customer experiences. Wine transport and hauling other beverage freight require climate-controlled transportation. Knowing immediately when temperature excursions threaten is a key to prevention that may save a shipment. Beer, wine, and spirits are usually fast-selling items that need to be replenished often, sometimes at a moment’s notice. A platform that links shippers, carriers, and end customers is a vital to ensuring a smooth-functioning supply chain.

The best tech partners  can collaborate and coordinate regarding:

  • Inbound and outbound pickups and deliveries.

  • Inventory management and planning.

  • Temperature and climate-controlled shipping solutions.

  • RFP management.

  • Processing payments.

Choosing a partner that can do all of this and more under one application makes craft brewery logistics more efficient and economical.

5. Know When to Use Managed Services and Create a Turnkey Strategy

Brewers and shippers need a craft brewery logistics partner with a platform to meet the demand for timely, smooth freight deliveries. Leveraging managed services, robust technology, and turnkey solutions is a must to deliver an exceptional digital customer experience.

A customized solution powered by technology matches shippers with the suitable carriers, maintains absolute transparency, as your business grows and matures. The solutions should be automated but allow for flexible solutions as well. Partnering with a 4PL logistics provider like Zengestics facilitates that for breweries. Zengistics has a network of vetted, trusted partners and integration to several other data sources that allow for optimization of craft brewery logistics.

Get on the Path to Better Craft Brewery Distribution and Alcohol Transport With Zengistics

So let’s keep the beer flowing! Operating on the world’s first collaborative platform, Zengestics provides end-to-end solutions for brewers, shippers, and carriers alike. For all the reasons mentioned, a one-stop solution for flexible craft beer and wine transport is the need of the hour. Request a quote with Zengistics today.