Key requirements for moving wine in containers
Being an extremely sensitive product to the influence of external factors, wine requires special attention when moving, particularly in containers. What do the logistics companies need to do for keeping the aroma and taste of wine? What types of containers are the most convenient in this regard?
“Similar to many other perishable goods, wine is a very sensitive, live commodity. Its appearance, aroma, and taste are all easily spoilt by chemical processes that are accelerated by changes in temperature and humidity, as well as by exposure to light. More specifically, these changes lead to oxidation and organoleptic degradation of the wine,” in such a way Hillebrand, the German logistics provider that is focused on delivering wine and other beverages, explained the key features of the product. As a result, the transport of wine, both bottled and canned, requires taking into account some important facts.
Temperature and humidity
Keeping the required level of temperature and humidity is the first requirement in moving wine in containers. According to Hillebrand, the ideal storage temperature is 12-14 degrees Celsius. The change in temperature could lead to various effects. For instance, an increase of 10 degrees Celsius can double the speed of ageing. The other consequences are not so positive for wine. “An increase in temperature leads to an expansion of the volume, which can damage the bottle closure and cause leakage. A drop in temperature is equally harmful, for example, due to the precipitation of crystals and phenolic substances,” the Mainz-based company noted.
Wine often covers the long distances to be delivered from the wineries to the customers. Usually, the logistics companies use the shipping lines for this purpose. This means that the containers will cross the different climatic zones with various temperatures and humidity. Such a difference is a basis for the climate-based risks that could damage wine during transport. To this end, Hillebrand developed the myHillebrand platform, the customer-focused digital solution that provides all the necessary information about the planned shipment route. The mentioned platform is mainly based on the measurements of the World Meteorological Organisation and includes a database of about 110,000 maritime routes, 3,300 alternative maritime routes and 2,500 cities.
Type of container
Another requirement for the logistics providers in shipping wine is to choose the right type of container. Taking into account the required level of temperature, the reefer containers, which can maintain a temperature from +30 to -30 degrees Celsius, seem the most obvious option for transporting wine and other beverages. Meanwhile, Hillebrand considers them expensive due to generation a cooling or warming effect.
The second, a more optimal, option is to use the standard dry containers but with only one improvement. It is the VinLiner insulation, the Hillebrand-developed thermostatic foil that is placed inside a container to limit the temperature rise to an average of 8-11 degrees Celsius compared to the loading temperature and protect sensitive loads for more than 40 days. Therefore, Hillebrand calls such containers insulated. The thermostatic foil can be used for several types of dry containers: 20-foot and 40-foot standard boxes as well as 40-foot high cube boxes.