Of all the sectors feeling the pressure as the economic recovery into a post-Covid reality continues, the food and beverage industry is among the most impacted. The beverage bottling and distribution chain has been stretched to the breaking point as consumer and market demands fluctuate dramatically. Because of the size and the sheer volume of the beverage bottle supply and niche freight management industry, logistics and supply chain management has become a critical aspect of F&B operations.

Working with glass beverage bottle suppliers, shippers, drivers, and retail distributors involves many components and requires the cooperation of  F&B logistics teams experts. The critical step for any successful beverage shipping and distribution is reliable beverage logistics. Without it, problems will arise.

There is big business to be had within beverage bottle supply, especially when one considers how many people are purchasing food and drink online, using online ordering, and maximizing their use of remote and digital ordering. According to Restaurant Business magazine, “The statistics are staggering: 86% of consumers are using off-premise services at least monthly. And a third are using it more than they did a year ago… Food delivery, in particular, is projected to grow in the double digits—12% per year over the next five years.

With demand at the local level increasing, restaurants and local stores will need more bottled drinks to accommodate orders and customer requests..

More beverage bottling demand directly correlates to the market’s current growth. Improving food and beverage logistics will help to meet the need for more efficiency in beverage bottling. The effects of poor collaboration within F&B logistics, glass beverage bottle suppliers, and F&B retailers are more apparent than ever. Here are some of the most common issues:

1. Inability to Scale Beverage Bottle Supply Services

Like any industry and niche market, the logistics involved with beverage bottling and distribution must be scalable and adaptable. Managing beverage bottle supply requires fast and reliable data and insights into dedicated F&B logistics.  When companies cannot scale production and logistics quickly, it creates delays, backlogs, and issues throughout the supply chain. For F&B companies, the inability to scale puts them at a disadvantage compared to competitors who can quickly adapt and adjust to meet market trends and customer demands. Correcting this issue will allow F&B logistics managers to more easily scale and adapt to consumer demands and respond to disruptions and shifts with managed services.

2. Delays in Loading and Unloading Product During Transport

Backlogs and delays can impact beverage bottling cargo and cause spoilage or damage to products with expiration dates or specific environmental and shipping needs. Without proper logistics and collaboration, many issues will continue regarding scheduling, loading, route planning, and delivery specifications. Delays and disruptions to beverage bottle supply operations due to mismanagement of beverage logistics and planning can have a ripple effect and impact all following areas of shipping and supply. Avoiding long dwell times, delays, and other issues during the loading and unloading of F&B products will make it possible for carriers to keep up with real-time conditions and make deliveries on time.

3. Failure to Respond to Consumer Feedback and Needs

The inability to adapt to consumer needs and demands for F&B products can lead to inventory shortages, shipping delays, order mismanagement, and poor customer loyalty. Meeting current and predicted future beverage bottle supply and demand needs is a large part of effective  F&B logistics. Without solid collaboration with team members and 3PL partners, F&B chains will struggle to meet consumer demand and miss opportunities for increased profits. Every missed delivery or issue getting products on the shelves can lead to missed income for the company.

4. Issues With Distribution and Marketing

Not all beverage bottling products do well in all areas or markets. It takes careful monitoring of consumer habits and trends to know what will sell and be popular when and where. Without good food and beverage logistics planning, it isn’t easy to know what products need to go where, how much is required, when it is needed, and what specific products are popular. The marketing and successful management of beverage bottle supply chains are impossible without reliable, collaborative logistics and coordination in the supply network. Reliable communication and cooperation are vital to keeping up with real-time trends and consumer buying habits within the food and beverage industry today.

5. Poor Driver Experiences and Limited Capacity

Limited capacity and driver shortages are significant challenges confronting teams trying to manage beverage bottle supply chains. Without capacity and driver availability, all the product in the world means little if the goods cannot reach a distribution center, store, or end customer quickly and efficiently. Poor coordination between vendors, suppliers, and distributors in the beverage bottling market increases the risk of delivery difficulties, which can spell disaster for F&B companies and make it even harder to secure capacity and drivers.

6. Limited Sharing of Alerts, Updates, and Notifications

Food and beverage logistics can become quite messy and complicated without innovative tools and technology. With a lack of real-time tracking, reliable data, digital documentation, and actionable insights, beverage bottle supply planning will be weak at best and ineffective at worst. Poor collaboration and coordination with team members mean slower response times and less than optimal solutions to issues. Keeping beverage bottling and distribution services running smoothly and efficiently is impossible without real-time data sharing and collaboration. Automating communications, notifications, and tracking alerts are essential to keeping the F&B distribution line running smoothly.

7. Increased Risk of Returns, Spoilage & Damaged Beverage Bottling Goods 

By the very nature of mostly glass containers, beverage bottling transportation is inherently prone to certain risks. Add to that the temperature and handling requirements for certain bottled beverages and the demand for beverage bottle supply monitoring is all the more apparent. Poor drink and beverage logistics and a lack of collaboration increase risk potential and likelihood. Damages, spills, spillage, and losses are much more likely due to poor logistic coordination and less than stellar collaboration regarding supply chain competitive advantages. Knowing how to respond to problems and having a backup plan and reinforcements lined up makes it easier to deal with F&B issues when they arise.

8. Trouble Scheduling Downstream Supply Chain Processes. 

The supply chain as a whole operates much like a chain of dominoes, and the beverage bottling and distribution market is no exception. When something goes wrong at one step of the beverage bottle supply chain, it can create lasting disruptions and issues with downstream processes. Poor communication and collaboration between in-house and outsource vendors leads to problems and inefficiencies throughout the network. Inadequate food and beverage logistics compound the problem and make it all the more challenging to address. True collaboration and networking help alleviate a great deal of pressure and allow all parties to reach fast and reliable solutions.

9. Inability to Take Stock of Lessons Learned to Improve Operational Efficiency Continuously

The final beverage bottling problem commonly seen in the F&B market today is the failure to learn from past mistakes, losses, and disruptions. Like any industry, beverage bottle supply is a volatile market with highs and lows, and companies must be able to analyze data and look back to see what did and did not work.

Failure to learn from past mistakes in beverage logistics will only lead to repeating those shortcomings.   A company’s ability to learn, grow, and improve directly correlates to successful food and beverage shipping and delivery.  It is possible to manage beer, wine, and spirits freight effectively.

Partner With Zengistics to Streamline F&B Logistics Today

Due to the size and the ever-growing volume of the beverage bottle supply industry, logistics and supply chain management are at the heart of effective  F&B logistics and operations. Increased beverage bottling demand remains closely linked to the growth and expansion of the market today. Improving food and beverage logistics will help suppliers and distributors meet market demand while improving overall efficiency. The effects of poor collaboration within the food and beverage market are more apparent than ever. Fortunately, Zengistics has the technology, including transparent systems, collaborative messaging and analytics-based decision-making,  and experience to serve the food and beverage bottling industry well. Contact Zengistics today for a quote and discover how the right industry partnership can improve beverage logistics and cooperation from the start.