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Johnston Logistics reports eight-fold hike in alcohol throughput

Published:  09 June, 2020

Bonded warehousing and logistic experts Johnston Logistics has reported an eight-fold increase in its average throughput of wine and other alcohol during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Norfolk-based business, which handles logistics for wine merchants including Halfwine, Vine & Cork, The Wine Society and Buoyant, said it had seen average daily orders for some clients rise by over 7,000%, with "demand showing signs of remaining high”.

“Alcohol has definitely led the surge in demand for food and drink” said Iain Hill, head of commercial and customer services for Johnston Logistics UK. 

“Whilst demand rocketed overnight for almost all the food and drink we handle, it’s wine, beer, cocktails and spirits which have seen the biggest and most sustained rise.”

The explosion in demand had been comparable to the Christmas period, but happened almost instantaneously, he added.

“Fortunately, we were able to use our years of seasonal experience to help our clients and their suppliers to meet the challenges and take advantage of the peak.”

Handling over 20,000 pallets of alcoholic drinks each year,  the company predicted that this figure could almost double for 2020 as a whole.  

Johnston Logistics also handle food, drink, household products and other FMCG for a range of manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. In partnership with Asda, it also processes around 50% of all wine sold in the supermarket. 

Though the demand for non-essential goods paused as the UK lockdown took effect, the business said it was now seeing a return in demand for other products, such as homewares, stationery, commercial products and components.

“We helped many clients and other businesses to quickly store their excess goods as retail and factories closed,” said Hill. “However, since early May we’ve seen demand begin to rise again and many are returning to more normal levels of throughput as retail looks set to reopen.”