Couriers, shipping and other conundrums

Amongst other day to day tasks, I spend much of my time organising collections from and deliveries to the warehouse we use for consigned lots. This of course comes with the territory and is good news as it mean we’re selling wine. However, a disproportionate amount of time is taken up with couriers who lose or break things – this isn’t a regular occurrence but each time it happens I probably spend 8 hours picking up the pieces (investigating what has occurred, communicating with sellers or buyers, contacting insurance companies etc).

Broken bottles are bad news for everyone. In some cases bottles are irreplaceable which means a rightly upset and irritated customer. In the best case scenario it means an insurance claim which takes time and results in higher premiums in future (couriers recognise their own fallability and refuse to insure anything breakable so we foot the bill).

The real challenge is finding a solution which ensures adequate insurance and minimal breakages whilst keeping the cost as low as possible. I’ve been looking at possible solutions for some while now and have finally come up with a proposal. I should be very interested in what people think about it (you can leave comments via the ‘comments’ box below.

Royal Mail special delivery will cover glass in transit and cover ranges from £500 to £2500. This would allow us to dispatch single bottles packed in dedicated wine boxes at a cost of £14.95 including VAT.

By insuring shipments directly we can now offer shipping for up to 12 bottles at a cost of £17.00 compared to our old rate of £18.50+VAT when shipping via our warehouse.

Lots of over 12 bottles often involve wooden cases or wine in original boxes and where possible we try to keep these intact. This makes it tough to repack into sensible boxes to prevent breakages. In addition, most couriers charge a significant premium for consignments over 25kg (less than the typical weight of a case of 18 bottles plus packaging). We have therefore decided to offer shipping via a dedicated wine courier and this will be charged as follows:

  • 2 Cases £27.60
  • 3 Cases £29.90
  • 4 Cases £32.20
  • 5 Cases £34.50
  • 6 Cases £36.80
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3 Responses to “Couriers, shipping and other conundrums”

  1. keith prothero Says:

    This obviously makes sense Lionel for shipments of wine nearer the higher end of the limit of liability.
    I would probably elect to self-insure for relatively low value consignments but the quote seems very reasonable for the more expensive wine.

  2. Chris Thomson Says:

    Can we use this dedicated wine courier for non-consignment wines?

    • Hi Chris.

      They’re trade only unfortunately and stick to Southern England – we’re still looking for an equivalent up North! Please do email us through the site if you need further assistance though.


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