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Case studies

Transporting Grapes from Vineyards to a Winery: A Case Study

2nd January 2024 | by Sam Nardi

Transporting Grapes from Vineyards to a Winery: A Case Study
Facing the challenge of transporting freshly picked grapes from diverse vineyards in Kent and Sussex to their winery in South East England, our client sought a partner that could navigate complex logistics with precision. This case study delves into our client's needs, the consignment intricacies, the challenges faced, and the remarkable outcomes achieved through the services offered by Speedy Freight Chatham. 


The Client 

In August of last year, our client, a winery based in South East England, approached our
Speedy Freight Chatham team ahead of the grape harvest season. Victoria from our Chatham team met with the client to discuss their logistics requirements in-depth. The challenge involved supplying 18-tonne trucks and artics to transport consignments to and from vineyards located in remote and obscure locations across Kent and Sussex.


The Consignment 

With the grape harvest set to begin in September, the client required the rapid collection of freshly picked grapes from multiple vineyards. The unpredictable timing of grape collections, determined by daily testing approvals, demanded a responsive transport partner available 24/7. Our team provided a competitive quote, and the client gave us the green light to put our services to the test.


The Challenges 

Navigating the grape harvest season presented a series of logistical challenges, each requiring strategic solutions for efficient transportation. 

Large and Specialist Vehicles: With each full bin weighing approx. 400kg, all collections required large vehicles. To meet this requirement, we supplied 18-tonne, 26-tonne, and artic vehicles based on the pickup location and the volume of grapes to be collected.  

The unpredictable nature of collections, often cancelled at the last minute due to poor weather, necessitated our team's flexibility and 24/7 availability in managing urgent requests, including a Friday evening demand for a specialist Moffett vehicle over the weekend. 

Location Constraints: The collections for our client were across multiple remote locations, limiting the type of vehicles that could be used due to size constraints. To tackle this challenge, our logistics team meticulously evaluated transportation options, ensuring suitability and accessibility for navigating the rural landscape. 

Some sites couldn’t accommodate a vehicle any bigger than an 18T to ensure compatibility with small country lanes. The urgency of collecting a substantial quantity of grapes within a tight timeframe required the deployment of multiple vehicles. Leveraging our team's local knowledge, effective communication with the client, and access to the right vehicles, we navigated this challenge with ease. 

Urgency of Grape Harvest: The grape harvest, commencing in September, introduced a sense of urgency and unpredictability to the timing of collections. Optimal grape picking conditions offered a narrow window, resulting in urgent last-minute collection and same day delivery requests. This dynamic environment heightened the necessity for a responsive logistics approach, showcasing the adaptability of our team. 

Our team's 24/7 availability ensured constant readiness to pick up the client's consignments immediately upon receiving the green light for harvest. Coupled with our same day delivery service, we efficiently collected and delivered large consignments to diverse locations across South East England, meeting the urgency of the grape harvest with precision.


The Conclusion 

In 2022, we collected an impressive 300 tonnes of grapes, achieving a flawless record with not a single missed delivery. Building on this success, the 2023 harvest season witnessed our team collecting over 500 tonnes of grapes from even more locations across South East England, demonstrating our continued dedication to efficient and reliable transportation.

Our client has expressed satisfaction with the swift service they received from our team, stating, "service levels are always 5-star, which is why we do and will keep coming back to Speedy Freight." 

This case study showcases the effective collaboration between our team's local knowledge and logistics expertise and a client with highly specific, time-sensitive, and unique delivery needs. The seamless partnership formed between our team and our client highlights our flexibility, prompt responsiveness, and unwavering reliability in meeting the distinctive demands of logistics in the grape harvest industry. 

Our team is looking forward to the next harvest season, confident in our ability to tackle any new challenges that come our way and continue to deliver unparalleled service to our client. 

Ready to streamline your logistics? Have a logistics challenge for us? Contact your local Speedy Freight team for a free no-obligation logistics consultation and experience 5-star service tailored to your specific requirements. 

Speedy Freight, Long Wheel Base Van.

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