News that the world’s biggest drinks shipper, JF Hillebrand, has been bought by logistics giant DHL has been greeted with unbridled enthusiasm by wine and spirit importers the world over.
‘Logistics is usually really boring,’ said Sham Uplift of GloboBev. ‘So not knowing whether things will turn up in the right town, continent or even hemisphere will make it much more exciting.’
The deal is said to have cost DHL over €1 billion – or ‘about half the value of all the items they failed to deliver last year.’
Fish and ships
Logistics has come under the spotlight over the last few years, with increasingly erratic shipping being blamed on Covid, Brexit, extreme weather, piracy and warming seas full of disorientated whales.
‘It’s got harder and harder to move drinks from one place to the next,’ said Frey Tandling of the Bottle Oriented Group of Freight Forwarders (BOGOFF). ‘So it’s great news that we’ll now have a company in charge from start to finish who are experts in fucking things up and then pretending that it’s nothing to do with them.
‘When it comes to not delivering products, there’s no-one better.’
App of the Gods
DHL – which stands for Deliveries Half Lost – has said that it is introducing a highly sophisticated digital alert process specifically for drinks shippers and importers.
Customers will be able to track their shipments of palettes, cases and bottles anywhere in the world 24 hours a day on their smartphone.
Right up until the moment when the consignment is misplaced, smashed into a thousand pieces or mysteriously returned to the depot for no reason at all.
Slim Margins, MD of Uncritical Wines, one of Europe’s biggest wine importers, told Fake Booze he was particularly looking forward to ‘waiting all day for something that doesn’t arrive.
‘Just like our profits.’
Ace of bass
‘Logistics is the bass guitar of the drinks world,’ said shipping analyst Horst Trading. ‘It doesn’t stand out, but you notice it when it isn’t there.
‘Rather like those three palettes of house wine you ordered six months ago.’