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Vindependents launches Groupage Europe to overcome Brexit challenges

Published:  04 November, 2021

Vindependents has managed to cut transit time from Europe to the UK from six weeks to two weeks, while shaving 20% off transports costs by launching a new a warehouse and distribution company in South-West France.

The independent merchant-owned buying group launched its new subsidiary Groupage Europe to tackle the transport and shipping challenges of imports due to Brexit. It works with a French haulier that collects its pallets from all over Europe and delivers to its 800m2 bonded warehouse in the South-West of France.

Vindependents said that the issue of delays at ports has increased shipping times and the additional export and customs paperwork significantly increased costs. This impacted its business with goods from Europe taking up to six weeks to arrive in the UK and has been adding around £150 cost per shipment.

The new warehouse means it can re-work the customs paperwork to reduce it from 20 to 30 chargeable EADs to just one and then send a single lorry to its UK warehouse. This process eliminates the need to stop for consolidation and with only a single set of customs papers to clear and pay for, Groupage Europe has already reduced costs by 90%.

“Shipping wines from Europe post-Brexit has caused no ends of headaches and problems, with orders taking forever to arrive and costs rising all the time,” said Jessica Hutchinson, MD of Vindependents.

“Our new French business, with its warehouse and customs registration, is a neat way of getting around these problems and allows us to deliver wines to our members in good time and at minimal cost. I won’t hide the fact that it has been hard to set up – I think everyone can imagine the problems of setting up a business and registering as a bonded warehouse in France – but I’m delighted that the hard work is now paying dividends.”

Groupage Europe said it will be offering this service to Vindependents members, so they can utilise the warehouse for shipping their own wines to the UK.

Vindependents believes it will be able to halve the financial impact of Brexit on its shipping, meaning members will not need to pass additional costs on to their customers.