Australia Post said that it is partnering with ASX-listed Digital Wine Ventures to launch a new service called WINEDEPOT.
In a joint statement, the companies described the new partnership as “a vertically integrated trading and logistics platform aimed at servicing Australia’s multibillion-dollar wine industry”.
Designed to cater for all facets of the supply chain — including producers, importers, distributors and retailers — WINEDEPOT will create four depots within existing Australia Post distribution centres, with one each in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
With that comes staffing, warehousing, infrastructure and back-end IT systems provided by Australia Post. Orders will flow directly into Australia Post’s fulfillment channels.
“Each depot will hold a very broad range of suppliers inventory on consignment, which can be accessed by a range of sales channels. As orders are processed through our platform, they are routed to the depot closest to the delivery address where they are picked, packed (by bottle or case) and drop-shipped to the end customer,” said Dean Taylor, CEO of Digital Wine Ventures.
“Depots are then automatically replenished on a bi-weekly basis from WINEDEPOT’s regional bulk storage facilities on behalf of suppliers.”
According to Mr Taylor, the use of Australia Post’s distribution centres will remove “the typical need for collection, transfer and sortation”, which he said will reduce handling and costs and, ultimately, delivery times.
He also expressed a hope that the learnings from this partnership will unlock opportunities to expand into other countries, as early as next year, citing New Zealand, China, Singapore, the UK and the US as potential target markets.
Australia Post’s head of growth products, Paul Hersbach, said the postal giant sees potential to “transform” the wine supply chain through the partnership.
“Australia Post is always looking for ways to support Australian businesses, particularly those in regional areas, where most wineries are located,” he said.
“As wine is heavy, bulky and fragile, shipping one case at a time from regional areas to consumers in major cities drives higher costs and increases risk of damage to consumer product. WINEDEPOT’s model will address many of these limitations and provide a much-improved overall customer experience.”
Mr Hersbach continued: “Our partnership with WINEDEPOT provides the wine industry with a specialised distribution service that will not only save money but also improve the consumer delivery experience. We believe that it will help many wine businesses increase their online sales, as they place their inventory closer to end consumers and offer same-day evening delivery as a standard service.”
The partnership is for an initial five-year term with 12-month exclusivity. The companies said they have agreed a schedule of fees, and there are no minimum-use requirements in place.
According to its website, Digital Wine Ventures is a company that “invests in technology-driven businesses servicing the global wine and beverage industry”.