Beat the Heat: Minimizing Return Shipments During the Summer Keeps Wineries and Wine Enthusiasts Happy
08.25.2023  |  by lauraperret

Amanda joined Copper Peak in 2019, bringing years of wine industry experience along with her. In her role as Account Executive, Amanda supports her clients with her expertise and commitment to outstanding service. 

As the scorching summer heat continues getting hotter and hotter, wineries and wine enthusiasts alike face a common challenge: Ensuring that their delicate bottles of wine arrive at their destination in optimal condition. The rising temperatures during transportation can negatively impact the quality of wine and lead to an increase in return shipments. So let’s explore some essential tips and best practices to minimize return shipments and maintain the integrity of wine during the sweltering summer months.

1. Proper Packaging Protects Wine

Effective packaging is key to protecting wine from extreme temperatures. Ensure that you (and/or your logistics partners) are using appropriate packaging materials that provide insulation and cushioning. Styrofoam shippers and ice packs can help maintain a cooler environment for the wine during transit. Encourage your customers to reuse or recycle these packaging materials to minimize environmental impact.

2. Strategically Time Your Shipping

When shipping wine during summer, it is crucial to consider the weather conditions throughout the entire shipping route. Monitor weather forecasts along the entire journey, including origin, transit points, and the final destination. If temperatures are expected to be excessively high at any point, it may be wise to delay the shipment until conditions improve.  

3. Consider Expedited Shipping Options

Consider taking advantage of expedited shipping options during summer months. Faster delivery reduces the time wine spends in transit, minimizing exposure to extreme temperatures. While this may entail additional costs, it can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and reduce the chances of return shipments due to wine spoilage or failed delivery attempts.

4. Proactive Communication

Effective communication plays a crucial role in minimizing return shipments. Clearly communicate to your customers about the potential risks associated with shipping during hot weather—and do so both before and after they have placed the order. Also provide guidelines on how to handle wine shipments in extreme temperatures, Notify your customer in advance of the anticipated shipping date to ensure they will be available to receive the shipment. 

Encourage customers to track their shipments online to stay informed about the delivery status so they can make the necessary arrangements upon arrival.

5. Local Pickup and Delivery

Encourage customers to send their shipments to a carrier hold at location option. This typically delivers in the morning eliminating exposure to temperatures and ensuring a person is available to receive the shipment. . 6. Wine Clubs and Subscription Boxes

For winery accounts with wine clubs or subscription box services, summer shipments can be strategically planned. Coordinate with customers to determine their preferred shipping months.. 

Do you need a logistics partner who understands the temperature sensitivity of your wine? You’ve found one in Copper Peak. Read up on our more technical advice for summer shipping, or just reach out to us for a consultation.