A major question for a Brewery is whether to outsource shipping or handle their shipping needs in house. The following is an excerpt taken from our page devoted to Freight Basics that outlines the basic advantages of each plus a section about shipping kegs by rail.
Work with a primary freight broker who handles everything. The brewery can negotiate a set “cost plus” arrangement or per pallet/case freight cost target.
Benefits to outsourcing:
- Every order gets shipped on time, every time
- “Just-in time” inventory: All goods are at the brewery when needed
- Freight broker will take care of all shipping due diligence leaving you to oversee other aspects of the brewery
Works well with high enough volume. Look to hire a staff member with experience as a carrier or broker. They’ll have to be hyper aware of all beer order/shipment details as well as work with multiple brokers to insure you’re getting the proper rates for your brewery. The lowest cost may not always be the best option as it doesn’t necessarily guarantee prompt loading and delivery time.
Rail can provide reasonable savings over 2000+ mile distances. It works best with empty kegs but can used for full kegs as long as there is a way to maintain the proper temperature. Transit times are faster than anticipated. Most major lines, like Union Pacific, CSX, and BNSF, will do freight transportation and have regular east-west bound trains running seven days a week.