14 degrees, a new third-party logistics (3PL) specialist offering end-to-end supply chain and logistics services to the wine industry, was a double winner at this year’s Logistics Mercury Awards, held by Logistics & Materials Handling magazine.
The awards recognise supply chain and logistics excellence, with 14 degrees winning the Top Transport/Logistics Provider and Best Manufacturer awards.
Established in 2009 by the Rathbone Wine Group, one of Australia’s producers of premium quality wines, 14 degrees offers a range of supply chain management services covering all aspects of wine production and distribution from the vineyard to order fulfilment in Australia and overseas.
Based at its new national wine distribution centre (DC) in Port Melbourne,
14 degrees offers winemakers and distributors, plus retailers, restaurants and hotel groups in Australia and New Zealand an extensive range of cost-effective supply chain and logistics services including: assistance with all vineyard-related issues from planting to harvest; winemaking support; wine marketing; and bulk wine transport.
“We can facilitate order fulfilment and distribution of wine to local, national and international markets. Our close proximity to the Port of Melbourne means we can receive bulk wine, bottle it, and take it across the road to the port for export orders faster than anyone else in the wine industry, which is a big boost for our customers’ export business,” said 14 degrees principal Darren Rathbone.
“Whether it’s bottling, short to long-term storage, pick, pack, delivery or export, the flexibility of our DC gives us the ability to cost-effectively process orders from full container loads down to a single bottle.”
Because the 4,500 sqm site also had to include bulk wine storage, bottling and packaging facilities, 14 degrees worked closely with storage systems partner Dematic to use the space as efficiently as possible.
Dematic’s space-efficient Pallet Runner satellite storage system gave 14 degrees the ability to store about 50% more pallets than any other storage method it had considered.
“With the Pallet Runner system, we can store pallets up to 30 deep in a single lane. That lets us park a whole vintage of a wine in just one or two lanes within the storage system, and forget about it until it is due for release,” said Rathbone.
Taking full advantage of the building’s 14 m height, Dematic’s high density Pallet Runner satellite storage system provides capacity for more than 13,000 pallets.
“Building a facility like this is a significant investment, however, we see it as a long-term investment in the Australian wine industry. Premium wines need to be carefully handled and cellared to be at their best when they are eventually consumed,” stated Rathbone.
“With today’s changing demographics, most people don’t have the space for a dedicated cellar at home. Sadly, too many bottles of great wine get left for years on a rack in the living room, where the temperature is constantly changing. You can’t expect wines stored like this to be as good as they would be, had they been cellared properly.
“That’s one of the reasons increasing numbers of wine producers are holding back and cellaring a larger proportion of their premium wines. Our new DC and integrated supply chain strategy will help make sure that when someone drinks one of our customers’ wines in years to come, it will be at its very best.”