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With a presence in the Mendoza Province since 1996, DB Schenker is the Argentinian wine industry’s go-to logistics provider.
As the top producer of wine in South America, and the world’s fifth-largest wine producer, Argentina has become well known for producing some of the finest, drinkable wine available on the market today. Yet it is only over the last 10-15 years that the country’s wine industry has really begun to develop the methods, attitudes, and will to become a serious player in the international wine market.
“High volume, low-quality vines are being replaced by premium varieties,” according to ArgentinaWineGuide.com. “Formerly struggling bodegas are attracting the backing of major international wine companies. Product quality is soaring, and every year the industry balance shifts further from cheap table wines towards exquisitely crafted drops that are increasingly recognized as being among the best in the world.”
A Long History of Success
The production and consumption of wine in Argentina dates back to over 400 years ago when the first specimens of Vitis vinifera were brought to the Americas by the Spanish colonizers in the early 16th century. In 1551, the first vines were planted in Argentina, spreading rapidly in the central, western, and northeastern areas of the country. Favored by the optimum soil and weather conditions of the Andean region, the winemaking industry experienced rapid, extensive growth.
As of 2016, Argentina had carved out a name for itself as the fifth-largest wine producer with almost $1 billion (USD) in exports and 3.5 million hectoliters of wine exported to other countries. Today, Argentina’s 800 wineries export 35,000 TEUSs of product annually, 100 tons of which are shipped via air, to the U.S. (40%), the UK (19%), Canada (11%), Brazil (8%), and the Netherlands.
Situated for Logistics Success
Mendoza is the largest and most successful region for viticulture in Argentina. Located east of the Andes, the region accounts for 70% of the country’s wine production and is the sixth-largest producer of grapes worldwide.
With a presence in the Mendoza Province since 1996, DB Schenker has played an important role in helping wine producers get their products into the hands of wine lovers around the globe. “For more than 20 years, we’ve been helping the wineries not only with their exports, but also with their supply imports such as barrels, corks, caps, labels, machinery, and empty bottles,” says Sebastian Armani, head of Schenker Argentina S.A.’s Mendoza branch.
“Being located at Mendoza province gives us the chance to work not only via the Argentinean ports,” Armani continues, “but also with the Chilean ports, as we are geographically situated closer to the ports in Valparaiso and San Antonio (versus Buenos Aires).”
According to Armani, being a long-time logistics partner to Argentina’s wine industry presents some unique challenges for DB Schenker. Most of those challenges are related to maintaining the quality of the product from the winery to its final destination. Climate conditions during shipping can negatively impact the wine, for example, and any exposure to extreme temperatures can damage the product.
To overcome these issues, DB Schenker provides options such as thermal blankets for pallets and containers; refrigerated containers with controlled temperatures; and ISO tanks for bulk wine shipping. Meant to keep the goods safe from damage, these measures help to ensure a reliable end-to-end supply chain for the precious goods.
In addition, when DB Schenker loads loose cases, it always recommends stacking the goods using airbags and wooden plaques. This ensures that no open cases fall out and get damaged when the container is opened at the destination point. Finally, DB Schenker always advises its customers to purchases necessary insurance coverage for their shipments.
More to Come
For customers in Argentina, DB Schenker ships wine for several different airlines which, in turn, serve the beverage on its flights. It also loads Argentinian wine orders for Sligro Food Group, a customer that’s using SCOUT, the logistics provider’s cloud based monitoring and control platform.
Looking ahead, Armani is bullish on the Argentinian wine industry’s prospects and says his division is well positioned to help that industry achieve an even higher level of status in the world market. “Estimates at this point are that the 2018 grape harvest will be of even higher quality and that quantities will increase by 20%,” he says. “As a result, even more wine will be exported and a number of new markets will open up.”