June 2018 | Commentary | Carriers Corner: Air, Ocean, Rail, Road Topics

4 Ways to Tell If Your Alcohol Carrier Knows the Hard Stuff

Tags: Specialized Logistics, Logistics, Supply Chain

Haroon Syed, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Schneider, 800-558-6767

Transporting alcohol is a time- and temperature- sensitive move that requires superior logistics. Selecting a carrier that can meet the stringent requirements and provide value to a shipper's business is crucial.

To demonstrate they would be a good fit for your business, consider alcohol carriers that:

  1. Know the law. Every state has its own process for transporting and delivering alcohol, so distributors must find a carrier that knows local laws and understands the requirements from state to state.

    For example, some states require drivers to have the state's original permits whether they're driving through or making a delivery. For these states, it's necessary to domicile the permits at predetermined locations so drivers don't have to veer off route to get them. A transportation provider that accounts for this makes shipping more efficient.

  2. Adhere to distributor-specific requirements. Shippers are bound to have certain requirements for their products. Finding a carrier to meet these needs is essential for a successful working relationship.

    In most instances, enforcing a predetermined mileage blackout area, where carriers are prohibited from stopping before reaching that mileage amount, is common to prevent thieves from stealing the load. To double down on loss prevention, a provider needs to be appropriately insured.

    Another common request is to use newer equipment to move alcohol. Equipment that is too old—more than eight to 10 years—may be a deal breaker.

    When assessing providers, determine which requirements are absolutes and which are negotiable.

  3. Maintain a low CSA score. A reputable carrier and driver can mean the difference between a safe delivery and a tragic accident. Evaluating the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) data provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration identifies high-risk carriers and drivers, helping shippers make informed decisions about the company they hire. While even the safest drivers and carriers have violations from time to time, a shipper can see whether these incidents are few and far between or common occurrences.
  4. Understand product stipulations. When an alcohol delivery is made, the product's integrity can be tracked back to the transportation provider. External factors such as weather and traffic delays can easily impact product quality. It's critical for a transportation provider to understand the cargo's sensitive nature and get it to the destination as quickly and safely as possible.

What Shippers Can Do

When selecting an alcohol carrier, it's critical to look at those that are equipped to handle the nature of the work and compliant within the industry. A provider that is well versed in permitting laws, understands and reacts well to shipper requests, and achieves impressive CSA scores can mean all the difference to the bottom line—and the successful delivery of a good libation.






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