Just-in-Time Wine Supply Chain

UPS Supply Chain Solutions delivers 700,000 bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau to Japan in time for new vintage's official release

UPS Supply Chain Solutions delivers 700,000 bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau to Japan in time for new vintage's official release

Paris  November 15, 2005  With just two days to go before the release of the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau, oenophiles in Japan can rest assured that they'll be able to enjoy a taste of the latest crop on November 17, la date officielle for the new vintage's launch, thanks to a massive logistics operation mounted by UPS Supply Chain Solutions, the supply chain unit of UPS.

In the process, UPS transported 700,000 bottles of the new crop of wine from France to Japan within a short time frame. Just-in-time delivery? How about just in time for dinner in Tokyo.

"This is an exceptional delivery operation both in terms of tight deadlines and tonnage," said Alain Gambuli, sales director for UPS Supply Chain Solutions France. "In less than 72 hours, we [moved] 750 metric tons of wine from France to Japan. This compares to 130 metric tons in 2004."

To facilitate the move, UPS Supply Chain Solutions chartered seven cargo aircraft to fly to Japan between November 5 and 11. The planes took off from Vatry (in the Marne), Châteauroux (in the Indre) and Brescia (Italy), bound for the Japanese airports of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. From there, the cargo was delivered to wine and spirit merchants in Japan.

The success of the operation depended on lengthy preparations and extremely fast execution, according to UPS. At the beginning of 2005, when Japanese firms placed orders for Beaujolais Nouveau, UPS Supply Chain Solutions booked its flights to ensure delivery. At the beginning of November, the enterprise started collecting the 750 metric tons of wine from local wine storehouses, located in the Burgundy region of France.

The cases of wine were taken to the airports and then transferred to dedicated warehouses using special pallets adapted to air transport. Once in Japan, UPS Supply Chain Solutions used its own employees to oversee customs operations, then the Japanese team put cases on special road-transport pallets to their destinations  just in time for thirsty connoisseurs in Japan to pick up a bottle or two at the store for dinner on Thursday.

Bon appetit, mes amis!

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