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How Does the Alcohol Supply Chain Work?

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The alcohol industry has a very specific supply chain, wineries, breweries, distilleries, brand owners and importers. Then you have the wholesaler distributors and finally the retailers who sell directly to consumers.

Volum states, “The spirits and liquor industry supply chain has evolved through different eras of varying complexity. As a global industry that cuts through regions, governments and belief systems, a lot of details are involved in sorting out appropriate logistics for alcoholic beverages as they are produced and transported to consumers.”

This unique supply chain relies heavily on the latest trucking and logistics software to ensure appropriate distribution without the hassle of breakages. All of these aspects of the alcohol supply chain are important and ensure that people can have a cold one on a Sunday afternoon.

Wineries, distilleries, importers and brand owners

Wineries, distilleries, imported and brand owners all have one thing in coming, they are all known as the ‘producers’. These businesses handle the product source and thus initiate the supply chain process. Some of these producers such as distilleries and breweries have their own internal supply chain. That being said, the processes have been expanded into the wider market. This is the first part of the alcohol supply chain and it’s responsible for creating inventory from raw materials.


Wholesalers are solely focused on moving product and bringing it to the consumers. A wholesaler will take bulk products from the first part of the supply chain and will then move those items to retail stores. The wholesalers are there to handle transportation, taking alcoholic beverages and products all over the country.

It’s also the wholesaler’s job to handle storage, warehousing requirements, packaging or re-packaging and everything else to do with this area of expertise. Wholesalers also manage inventory tasting, custom labeling, control, order fulfillment, exporting and importing.


Retailers are the last part of the alcohol supply chain, they represent our much-loved restaurants, pubs, stores and many other outlets. Their primary focus is to showcase the product in front of the consumer and make a sale. Additionally, retailers employ PR services, advertising, pricing, local distribution and storage to assist the process.

The alcoholic beverage market is set to reach a value of $1594 billion by 2022. Alcohol is a massive market that’s constantly meeting excessive demand. That’s why we need powerful and very comprehensive supply chains that are able to cope with consumer requirements. With solutions like logistics software, AI, robotics, comprehensive packaging and inventory management it’s easier than ever to handle and transport all these products.


The alcohol supply chain is pretty well-defined, although it does suffer some alterations based on the customer requirements and the impact of location. Thanks to integrated technologies, the alcohol supply chain has become faster, a lot more reliable, not to mention more robust and customizable. The traditional methods are seamlessly imbued with the latest tech on the market to automate and speed up both the production and delivery.

Wineries are able to study the drinking patterns of their customers and make alternations to their products. This makes the alcohol supply chain very dynamic, powerful and unlike anything else that you can find on the market at this time.

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