Weekly Update: Tariff Update

Freight Updates

Tariff developments.  The EU announced that they were implementing the $4BN of tariffs, sanctioned on the US by the WTO this week. Effective November 10th, 2020 the EU will apply a 25% tariff on American shipments of rum, brandy, vodka and vermouth. The EU press release may be found here and the full list of affected products may be found here.  In addition, with the pending new administration change, the WSJ published an article saying that the Biden administration is expected to review all current US trade tariffs. The full article is here.  Decanter also weighs in on the possibility of Tariff cuts.

Reefer Availability – France/Spain  Reefer availability continues to be an issue. For the West Coast, we are now experiencing a 2+ week delay in reefer shipments.  For the East Coast, delays are approximately 2 weeks.  As an alternative, we would suggest you consider insulated containers for East Coast shipments.  In the case of LCL shipments, this will not only result in quicker shipment, but the cost per case of an insulated shipment will be reduced by $0.75.  We will be reaching out to our customers, who currently have East Coast shipments booked, to see if you would like to change from Reefer to insulated containers. As of this week, we are now experiencing 3 – 4 day delays for release of containers from East and West Coast ports.

Oceania to USA – continued fallout from labor action at Sydney port terminals has impacted the container flows for Australia and New Zealand shipments.  Ocean carriers applied congestion charges in October for export cargo as well.

DC Liquor stores sell record quantities of Champagne following the Election. Multiple liquor stores across the nation’s capital claim that they sold more champagne in the 12 hours of celebrations following Biden’s projected win than they did in any previous holiday.  The full article may be found here.

Port Congestion Since late summer the inbound container activity in southern California and the Northeast are showing the complete volume reversal that was the reality of the first half.  Container-equipment lessor, Triton International reports demand as “exceptionally strong.”  Triton is forecasting strong container demand through at least the early part of 2021.  The full article may be found here.


LTL delays and high costs continue

Long lead times persist in LTL reefer trucking nationally. Our preferred carriers, Advantage Transportation and Osborn Trucking, are still experiencing high demand. Coast to coast trucking is taking 2-3 weeks to be coordinated in both directions. A three week lead time for collection, combined with a 10 day transit time means that an order received today would project to inbound the 2nd week of December.  If you need goods moved more quickly, we can provide quotes for alternatives which will be higher than our preferred carriers. With only seven weeks left in the year, time is running out if you need to move wine coast to coast.


Distribution Updates

We continue to see a steady uptick in order volume in our Direct Markets as we enter November. Please be mindful of this in potential delayed response times from our Distribution team.

In an attempt to streamline the outside carrier pick up process, FDL has confirmed that all carriers who are picking up freight from Elenteny Imports can check in at 399 Mill Road. CPUs can continue to check in at Building 275

DNT has made some updates to their Winter 2020 schedule. These changes will go into effect from November 1st, 2020 through April 30th, 2021. Click Here to Read More.

You may reference our cutoffs for next-day deliveries at our website here.

In the meantime, all of our warehouses continue to operate with limited staff, resulting in delayed turnaround times for both physical requests and inbounds. FDL’s delivery schedule has been updated to five days a week and may be found here.

“Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself.”
~ Robert G. Ingersoll


  • The Court of Masters America begins suspending members accused of sexual harassment, read Wine Searcher’s article here.
  • Wine Paris postponed until June 2021,  and Vinexpo Bordeaux until June 2022.  Click here for details.
  • Prowein’s plans to lengthen their fair and make changes to the layout and tasting here.

  • Preserving the heritage of wine bars; Barcelona is doing this for 11 historic locations so far, read the story here.
  • Sparkling Wine Sales Stay Strong Through Pandemic. Scan data from Nielsen off-premise outlets show domestic sparkling wine sales in the 52 weeks ended Sept. 5 exceeding $789 million, up nearly 12% from a year ago.  More detail may be found here.