How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

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Warren Taranow
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#1 Post by Warren Taranow » October 3rd, 2015, 5:17 pm

I'd like to find out the temperature range between point A (wine store) and point B (my office) to determine when it's safe to have my wines shipped. I suppose I need to determine the FedEx and UPS ground routes, then search cities in between.

Thanks for any suggestions to simplify the process!
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#2 Post by Drew Goin » October 3rd, 2015, 5:26 pm

Million dollar question. Probably no current way to tell...?

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#3 Post by Xavier Lavoipierre » October 3rd, 2015, 5:48 pm

Sometimes tough to figure out the route. But once the route is determined, I like to use this: http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/conusWeek.php#tabs

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#4 Post by Warren Taranow » October 3rd, 2015, 6:04 pm

Xavier Lavoipierre wrote:Sometimes tough to figure out the route. But once the route is determined, I like to use this: http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/conusWeek.php#tabs
Xavier,
That's helpful; thanks!
I went to Fedex's website, but their "ground route transit maps" are just time estimates, not ground route transit maps.[swearing.gif]
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#5 Post by Xavier Lavoipierre » October 3rd, 2015, 6:19 pm

You're welcome, Warren. I believe there are ways of finding out what the "likely" routes are, but I can't remember how. I believe, though I'm not sure, that you can do a Google search and find routes from the various hubs. I did it once when I had something being shipped from Tennessee. The NOAA graph helped a lot.

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#6 Post by Adam.Armit » October 3rd, 2015, 10:51 pm

A bit off topic but related. Way back when plasma tv's were 10's of thousands of dollars I worked as a manager of an electronics department of a retail chain. Anyhow there was a big worry that if they were damaged in transit who was responsible and who was on the hook. Ultimately they had the shipper install these inexpensive meters on the box that would indicate if the temp ever got too hot, too cold, or if there was an impact. It was three separate stickers available in various temp thresholds and g force maximums. I believe it only added $50 or so to the shipping cost, so Ive always wondered how come they never made it into the wine world. Anyhow, back to the topic at hand.

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#7 Post by Doug Schulman » October 4th, 2015, 6:21 am

Adam.Armit wrote:A bit off topic but related. Way back when plasma tv's were 10's of thousands of dollars I worked as a manager of an electronics department of a retail chain. Anyhow there was a big worry that if they were damaged in transit who was responsible and who was on the hook. Ultimately they had the shipper install these inexpensive meters on the box that would indicate if the temp ever got too hot, too cold, or if there was an impact. It was three separate stickers available in various temp thresholds and g force maximums. I believe it only added $50 or so to the shipping cost, so Ive always wondered how come they never made it into the wine world. Anyhow, back to the topic at hand.
A more advanced version of this is available for wine. I don't think its use is very widespread. I believe due to cost that it would be used by importers rather than for single cases.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#8 Post by Doug Schulman » October 4th, 2015, 6:24 am

For shipping routes, I like to look at a national map like the one linked in this thread. Then I can look at the likely routes (probably one of the major W>E interstates for my West Coast orders) and see what the high temps will be. Sometimes I look at forecasts for individual cities along the way to also see what low temps look like and get an idea of actual temperature throughout the day.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#9 Post by Robert Grenley » October 4th, 2015, 9:55 am

It would be very useful to have this information, as to standard ground routes and maybe even air routes for
FedEx and UPS, collected and organized. If there was an app that correlated that information along with current weather forecasts so that you plugged in the starting point and destination and you saw the forecast for the wine route, how cool would that be?

In some thread in the past the indefinite nature of the shipping routes was discussed. I think the wineries that ship around the country have a great deal of personal knowledge of how their wines travel, but this has not been "collected" and shared in a centralized place, and apparently shipments can get taken to certain hubs that seem wildly nonsensical in being "out of the way". I too wish that we had a quick and reliable way of knowing the routes so we could decide when to ship. Any suggestions?
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#10 Post by Anton D » October 4th, 2015, 12:07 pm

Just don't look.

Seriously.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#11 Post by Robert Grenley » October 4th, 2015, 12:40 pm

Anton D wrote:Just don't look.

Seriously.
Well, that certainly is a simple solution. Takes a load off!
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#12 Post by Oliver McCrum » October 4th, 2015, 1:16 pm

You can check the temperature during a shipment by including a data logger, we use them to check the temperatures during the shipment from winery to port, and to make sure we're getting the proper temperature on the container. This is no help for a prospective shipment, though.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#13 Post by Anton D » October 4th, 2015, 1:17 pm

Robert Grenley wrote:
Anton D wrote:Just don't look.

Seriously.
Well, that certainly is a simple solution. Takes a load off!
Seriously.

Think about a Burgundy or Bordeaux bottle.

The wine likely got trucked from the winery to a port, then sat on a shipping dock at some point, waited to go through customs, then maybe in a container somewhere on some boat, then to more shipping docks, then stored lord knows where as it was being made ready to go to the distributor, then the resaler, then to us. The physical "provenance" of a wine has so many angst inducing moments, I just trust it to miraculously arrive at my store or home and I take it from there.

Which contained has the fine wine in it? What was the weather like?

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#14 Post by Warren Taranow » October 4th, 2015, 5:35 pm

Robert Grenley wrote:
Anton D wrote:Just don't look.

Seriously.
Well, that certainly is a simple solution. Takes a load off!
Just trying to decide when to safely pull the trigger. It's looking more like November at this point.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#15 Post by Robert Grenley » October 4th, 2015, 6:41 pm

Warren Taranow wrote:
Robert Grenley wrote:
Anton D wrote:Just don't look.

Seriously.
Well, that certainly is a simple solution. Takes a load off!
Just trying to decide when to safely pull the trigger. It's looking more like November at this point.
Getting things chipped up from CA to Seattle is fairly straightforward, it seems...checking Redding CA temps for things from Northern CA, and checking Anaheim (and Redding) for things from Southern CA is what I have been told. For shipments from the east coast I have no idea...it sometimes seems like by the time temps in some areas cool down enough there are freezing temps in the mountains. Please, anyone chime in if they know more than that.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#16 Post by T Wills » October 4th, 2015, 6:48 pm

You know, eggs, milk, ice cream, produce, meat gets shipped all over the place with no concerns about outside temps or the season. Why can't wine be treated as well as milk?
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#17 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 4th, 2015, 6:56 pm

T Wills wrote:You know, eggs, milk, ice cream, produce, meat gets shipped all over the place with no concerns about outside temps or the season. Why can't wine be treated as well as milk?
People don't think of wine as perishable.


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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#19 Post by Robert Grenley » October 4th, 2015, 9:25 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:Here is a map:

http://www-archive.shipcompliant.com/re ... /temp-map/
That is very interesting. What is the story with this?
Is this a sample for a service that wineries pay and sign up for?
I started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.
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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#20 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 5th, 2015, 6:20 am

Robert Grenley wrote:
Tom G l a s g o w wrote:Here is a map:

http://www-archive.shipcompliant.com/re ... /temp-map/
That is very interesting. What is the story with this?
Is this a sample for a service that wineries pay and sign up for?
I think wineries can use the maps or download a zip file. I've used the maps but the high limit is only 70.

There should be another thread on WB

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#21 Post by Carlos Duarte » October 5th, 2015, 6:31 am

Best bet is to buy it and ask them to hold off on shipping for cooler weather. I have never had them say no.

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How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#22 Post by Jay $$ Winton » October 5th, 2015, 7:02 am

Carlos Duarte wrote:Best bet is to buy it and ask them to hold off on shipping for cooler weather. I have never had them say no.
And if the shipping department is doing their job THEY should be tracking the route weather. But I agree, wait until later in the year for anything other than overnight.
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#23 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 5th, 2019, 10:59 am

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
October 5th, 2015, 6:20 am
Robert Grenley wrote:
Tom G l a s g o w wrote:Here is a map:

http://www-archive.shipcompliant.com/re ... /temp-map/
That is very interesting. What is the story with this?
Is this a sample for a service that wineries pay and sign up for?
I think wineries can use the maps or download a zip file. I've used the maps but the high limit is only 70.

There should be another thread on WB
This link doesn’t work. Anyone know of something similar?

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#24 Post by RickieM » October 5th, 2019, 11:31 am

This seems to be helpful. You can enlarge the map to show your area (or scroll using the mouse pointer) and select to show maximum temperature.

https://digital.weather.gov/
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#25 Post by Mark Thompson » October 5th, 2019, 11:52 am

Another factor I’ve worried about with ground shipping is how much hotter might the inside of a semi trailer get in the sun versus ambient? Am I killed into a false sense of security if the “worst” weather is 78 and sunny on the way from CA, but that could really mean 100? I’d view the risk as low in this scenario, particularly if styrofoam shippers were used, but who knows?

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#26 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 5th, 2019, 12:09 pm

RickieM wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 11:31 am
This seems to be helpful. You can enlarge the map to show your area (or scroll using the mouse pointer) and select to show maximum temperature.

https://digital.weather.gov/
That’s good, thank you.

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#27 Post by Victor Hong » October 5th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Warren Taranow wrote:
October 3rd, 2015, 5:17 pm
I'd like to find out the temperature range between point A (wine store) and point B (my office) to determine when it's safe to have my wines shipped. I suppose I need to determine the FedEx and UPS ground routes, then search cities in between.

Thanks for any suggestions to simplify the process!
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#28 Post by Chris Seiber » October 5th, 2019, 1:00 pm

Anton D wrote:
October 4th, 2015, 12:07 pm
Just don't look.

Seriously.
Or you can go to the other extreme like Charlie Fu and assume that if anywhere in the USA has a high over 75 degrees, it’s not safe to ship.

[snort.gif]

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#29 Post by GregT » October 5th, 2019, 1:03 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
October 4th, 2015, 6:56 pm
T Wills wrote:You know, eggs, milk, ice cream, produce, meat gets shipped all over the place with no concerns about outside temps or the season. Why can't wine be treated as well as milk?
People don't think of wine as perishable.
Because individual customers don't order a half gallon of milk from five states away. And, milk has a sell-by date on it. If it sits in a warm place and gets nice and toasty, that compromises the sell-by date.

But I think Ponsot has something that he puts on his wines now to indicate whether it's hit some temperature threshold. He's making it available to other producers too. And you or your retailers can buy something to indicate temp thresholds as well:

https://www.tgoldkamp.com/warmmark-shor ... gJrBPD_BwE

In any event, I think people obsess over temps WAY more than they need to. Wine has been shipped for many years and it hasn't all crapped out.
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#30 Post by Yao C » October 5th, 2019, 2:49 pm

GregT wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 1:03 pm
But I think Ponsot has something that he puts on his wines now to indicate whether it's hit some temperature threshold. He's making it available to other producers too.
Didn't someone take a hairdryer to one of those dots with no change whatsoever?
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#31 Post by T Wills » October 5th, 2019, 5:44 pm

GregT wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 1:03 pm
Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
October 4th, 2015, 6:56 pm
T Wills wrote:You know, eggs, milk, ice cream, produce, meat gets shipped all over the place with no concerns about outside temps or the season. Why can't wine be treated as well as milk?
People don't think of wine as perishable.
Because individual customers don't order a half gallon of milk from five states away. And, milk has a sell-by date on it. If it sits in a warm place and gets nice and toasty, that compromises the sell-by date.

But I think Ponsot has something that he puts on his wines now to indicate whether it's hit some temperature threshold. He's making it available to other producers too. And you or your retailers can buy something to indicate temp thresholds as well:

https://www.tgoldkamp.com/warmmark-shor ... gJrBPD_BwE

In any event, I think people obsess over temps WAY more than they need to. Wine has been shipped for many years and it hasn't all crapped out.
Well I buy mexican produce all the time at just about any grocery. Chinese and S American frozen seafood imports everywhere. Those items are more sensitive to shipping conditions than wine yet so much wine gets cooked on the way. I don't understand why wine cannot be shipped properly in perfect conditions.
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#32 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 5th, 2019, 5:51 pm

T Wills wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 5:44 pm
GregT wrote:
October 5th, 2019, 1:03 pm
Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
October 4th, 2015, 6:56 pm

People don't think of wine as perishable.
Because individual customers don't order a half gallon of milk from five states away. And, milk has a sell-by date on it. If it sits in a warm place and gets nice and toasty, that compromises the sell-by date.

But I think Ponsot has something that he puts on his wines now to indicate whether it's hit some temperature threshold. He's making it available to other producers too. And you or your retailers can buy something to indicate temp thresholds as well:

https://www.tgoldkamp.com/warmmark-shor ... gJrBPD_BwE

In any event, I think people obsess over temps WAY more than they need to. Wine has been shipped for many years and it hasn't all crapped out.
Well I buy mexican produce all the time at just about any grocery. Chinese and S American frozen seafood imports everywhere. Those items are more sensitive to shipping conditions than wine yet so much wine gets cooked on the way. I don't understand why wine cannot be shipped properly in perfect conditions.
Because some people don’t gaf?

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#33 Post by Frank Drew » October 6th, 2019, 8:53 am

T Wills wrote:
October 4th, 2015, 6:48 pm
You know, eggs, milk, ice cream, produce, meat gets shipped all over the place with no concerns about outside temps or the season. Why can't wine be treated as well as milk?
That’s exactly the answer; those and dozens of other temperature sensitive but often much less expensive commodities get shipped safely all over the globe every day all year round; for reasons of their own, too much of the fine wine industry can’t (won’t) follow suit. Does anyone think that the dairy manager at your local supermarket stays up at night worrying about the temperatures of this week’s milk and butter shipments?
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#34 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » October 6th, 2019, 8:57 am

Frank Drew wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 8:53 am
T Wills wrote:
October 4th, 2015, 6:48 pm
You know, eggs, milk, ice cream, produce, meat gets shipped all over the place with no concerns about outside temps or the season. Why can't wine be treated as well as milk?
That’s exactly the answer; those and dozens of other temperature sensitive but often much less expensive commodities get shipped safely all over the globe every day all year round; for reasons of their own, too much of the fine wine industry can’t (won’t) follow suit. Dies anyone think that the dairy manager at your local supermarket stays up at night worrying about the temperatures of this week’s milk and butter shipments?
A lot of importers do ship temperature controlled. You can’t compare the logistics of the food industry to retail wine shipments. You think milk and butter are shipped via UPS or FedEx?

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#35 Post by larry schaffer » October 6th, 2019, 9:06 am

Such an interesting thread - and one that is bound to lead to lots of potential answers and suggestions. Yep, there probably is $$$ to be made by creating and marketing an 'accurate' way to assess temperatures during shipping. I know that Leslie Fischer has posted extensively on this in the past - not sure if she is still around here or not. And I've heard the same about the Ponsot dots - that they are not accurate.

The question - who would ultimately pay for this technology? Remember that in some cases, you are shipping wines with a case price in excess of $1000- another $25 or so does not seem like that much. But what if it's a case that costs $250 or $300 - that $25 becomes a much greater 'cost' of the process.

Even in cases where wineries and third party shippers are 'on it', shit happens - Mother Nature is far from perfect and does not follow every model out there.

As others have pointed out, tons of wines get shipped across the pond - how do you know how these are handled from the winery door to the warehouse? You don't - and assume that things are well taken care of but . . .

Love the thread and can't wait to hear more.

Cheers.
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#36 Post by Frank Drew » October 6th, 2019, 9:08 am

As for wine’s alleged robustness, is there anyone here who would willingly choose a wine that had been exposed to temperatures in the 80s and above for at least a few weeks vs one known to have been kept below, say, 60-65 it’s entire life? If so, please raise your hands.

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#37 Post by larry schaffer » October 6th, 2019, 9:15 am

Frank Drew wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:08 am
As for wine’s alleged robustness, is there anyone here who would willingly choose a wine that had been exposed to temperatures in the 80s and above for at least a few weeks vs one known to have been kept below, say, 60-65 it’s entire life? If so, please raise your hands.
Frank,

I'm sure the question on this board is no, no one would be willing to do so. The real question should be whether folks have 'experimented' to see what the difference in taste/texture etc would be in these two situations. I know that some on this board have done 'trials' with wines stored at ambient temperatures vs in a temp controlled cellar.

Scientifically, we know that elevated temperature accelerate the aging process of a wine - and extreme temperatures will 'cook' a wine, but I'm not sure if we truly understand the variables at play here precisely, and that's the challenge. And then, of course, add on to that the possibility that 'older' wines will handle these situations differently than 'younger' wines - and let's not even get into how many 'natural' wines will handle this [soap.gif] [stirthepothal.gif] [swearing.gif]

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#38 Post by Frank Drew » October 6th, 2019, 9:21 am

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 8:57 am

A lot of importers do ship temperature controlled. You can’t compare the logistics of the food industry to retail wine shipments. You think milk and butter are shipped via UPS or FedEx?
Do you think that any but a small fraction of wine gets shipped by UPS or Fed Ex? Even those of us here still buy lots and lots of wine from local shops, and those retail-bound shipments operate by the same logic as the corner store selling ice cream.

It can be done; wine can be delivered as worry-free as a carton of eggs, if the industry decides to do it.
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#39 Post by Frank Drew » October 6th, 2019, 9:36 am

larry schaffer wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:15 am
Frank Drew wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:08 am
As for wine’s alleged robustness, is there anyone here who would willingly choose a wine that had been exposed to temperatures in the 80s and above for at least a few weeks vs one known to have been kept below, say, 60-65 it’s entire life? If so, please raise your hands.
Frank,

I'm sure the question on this board is no, no one would be willing to do so. The real question should be whether folks have 'experimented' to see what the difference in taste/texture etc would be in these two situations. I know that some on this board have done 'trials' with wines stored at ambient temperatures vs in a temp controlled cellar.

Scientifically, we know that elevated temperature accelerate the aging process of a wine - and extreme temperatures will 'cook' a wine, but I'm not sure if we truly understand the variables at play here precisely, and that's the challenge. And then, of course, add on to that the possibility that 'older' wines will handle these situations differently than 'younger' wines - and let's not even get into how many 'natural' wines will handle this [soap.gif] [stirthepothal.gif] [swearing.gif]

Cheers!
Larry, thanks for your response but asking for perfect knowledge before addressing a problem reminds me of the arguments against action on climate change.

If everybody who really cares about wine agrees that temperature controlled storage and shipping is ideal, and since we know from the evidence in other industries that accomplishing this isn’t so difficult or expensive, let’s just do it already. I mean, really, it’s been decades that we’ve been discussing this, but every time we revisit the issue the same rationales for the not-really-satisfactory status quo are dredged up.

Where’s Trent when we need him? (Famous rant on subject.)

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#40 Post by larry schaffer » October 6th, 2019, 9:53 am

Frank,

Who do you suggest pay for this? If there was enough demand, I believe you'd see someone come up with a workable 'solution' that would not cost much - but without the demand, and without consumers truly 'speaking up' about the problem, I don't see anything happening.

Shipping is already a 'challenge' for the wine industry - whether it be wineries shipping directly, using third parties, or retailers shipping. The cost to ship wine is simply quite expensive, and in this day and age where consumers are programmed to get free shipping or heavily reduced shipping with other products, it puts a strain on wineries to follow - and eat these costs, further digging in to challenging margins or passing these along to the consumer in another way.

I'm all for coming up with solutions - but I'm also a realist . . .
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#41 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 6th, 2019, 10:18 am

larry schaffer wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:15 am
Frank Drew wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:08 am
As for wine’s alleged robustness, is there anyone here who would willingly choose a wine that had been exposed to temperatures in the 80s and above for at least a few weeks vs one known to have been kept below, say, 60-65 it’s entire life? If so, please raise your hands.
Frank,

I'm sure the question on this board is no, no one would be willing to do so. The real question should be whether folks have 'experimented' to see what the difference in taste/texture etc would be in these two situations. I know that some on this board have done 'trials' with wines stored at ambient temperatures vs in a temp controlled cellar.

Scientifically, we know that elevated temperature accelerate the aging process of a wine - and extreme temperatures will 'cook' a wine, but I'm not sure if we truly understand the variables at play here precisely, and that's the challenge. And then, of course, add on to that the possibility that 'older' wines will handle these situations differently than 'younger' wines - and let's not even get into how many 'natural' wines will handle this [soap.gif] [stirthepothal.gif] [swearing.gif]

Cheers!
I have brought this up multiple times in the past, but several years ago I did an experiment. I took three each of three wines, and stored them in three different environments for two years. One group of three was kept in my 53 degree wine cellar. The next group was kept in the uncontrolled portion of my basement which had a slow swing from 52 in the coldest months to 70 in the heat of summer. The final group of three was kept in an upstairs closet in my (at the time) un-air conditioned house. The upstairs swing was from 60 in winter to 80 in summer. The 80 degree conditions lasted about 60 days each of the two summers.

After two full years I held a blind tasting. The participants found no appreciable difference between the cellar and basement bottles, and while the upstairs bottles were more evolved, they were not considered compromised/damaged by any of the tasters.

That’s obviously not shipping, but it certainly showed the wines (in this case a Muscadet, a German Riesling and a Bourgogne Rouge) to be more resilient than people expect.
David Bueker - Rieslingfan

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#42 Post by larry schaffer » October 6th, 2019, 10:53 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 10:18 am
larry schaffer wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:15 am
Frank Drew wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:08 am
As for wine’s alleged robustness, is there anyone here who would willingly choose a wine that had been exposed to temperatures in the 80s and above for at least a few weeks vs one known to have been kept below, say, 60-65 it’s entire life? If so, please raise your hands.
Frank,

I'm sure the question on this board is no, no one would be willing to do so. The real question should be whether folks have 'experimented' to see what the difference in taste/texture etc would be in these two situations. I know that some on this board have done 'trials' with wines stored at ambient temperatures vs in a temp controlled cellar.

Scientifically, we know that elevated temperature accelerate the aging process of a wine - and extreme temperatures will 'cook' a wine, but I'm not sure if we truly understand the variables at play here precisely, and that's the challenge. And then, of course, add on to that the possibility that 'older' wines will handle these situations differently than 'younger' wines - and let's not even get into how many 'natural' wines will handle this [soap.gif] [stirthepothal.gif] [swearing.gif]

Cheers!
I have brought this up multiple times in the past, but several years ago I did an experiment. I took three each of three wines, and stored them in three different environments for two years. One group of three was kept in my 53 degree wine cellar. The next group was kept in the uncontrolled portion of my basement which had a slow swing from 52 in the coldest months to 70 in the heat of summer. The final group of three was kept in an upstairs closet in my (at the time) un-air conditioned house. The upstairs swing was from 60 in winter to 80 in summer. The 80 degree conditions lasted about 60 days each of the two summers.

After two full years I held a blind tasting. The participants found no appreciable difference between the cellar and basement bottles, and while the upstairs bottles were more evolved, they were not considered compromised/damaged by any of the tasters.

That’s obviously not shipping, but it certainly showed the wines (in this case a Muscadet, a German Riesling and a Bourgogne Rouge) to be more resilient than people expect.
David,

Thanks for sharing again. And exactly the type of stuff u love to hear about.

I am also of the opinion that wine is a lot more resilient then we give it credit for - with some caveats.

And I do hope folks actually read what you've written - interesting indeed.

Cheers.
larry schaffer
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#43 Post by GregT » October 6th, 2019, 11:26 am

Frozen fish, milk, ice cream, etc., is shipped in freezers or refrigerated trucks. Any damage is immediately obvious and the products are usually consumed very quickly, so damage will lead to immediate complaints and returns. And, as I mentioned, people are not buying ice cream on the internet and having it shipped across the country. If you order meats, etc., from far away, it's usually shipped in styro with cold packs and shipping is usually overnight. If you ask for Fed Ex ground, you're going to get spoiled products.

So if you're willing to pay, you can have your wine shipped overnight, exactly the same way you'd have meat or cheese shipped.

But to expect that a single case of wine, or six cases, that are coming UPS or Fed Ex, are going to be handled by those companies as perishables and kept in cool conditions? That's a bit much. It's not the business they are in. They just move packages. They don't specialize in food or perishable deliveries. If a shipper puts something that's perishable in a box and and sends it UPS ground or Fed Ex ground, that's on the shipper and the buyer. It would be cost-prohibitive for UPS or Fed Ex to set up cold storage at every facility on the odd chance that somebody someday might order a few cases of wine.

So if you're really sweating it, then pay the extra and have it shipped overnight as a highly perishable item.

On top of that, as others have said and I've posted in the past, you have no idea what conditions your wine was in before you got them into your cool cellar. I can promise you that no wine has been kept in under 65F from the time it's made until the time it's at your table. Go to some of the top-rated stores in Manhattan and you'll see pallets of wine on the sidewalk in 90+ degrees. Not for six hours, but for enough time that anyone on this board would be stressed. And few distributors, particularly the small ones, don't deliver in refrigerated trucks. So best you can hope is that when the wine is coming from New Jersey into Manhattan and it's spending a few hours stuck in traffic, at least the guy might have the AC on. And then it's sitting in a store that is not kept at 60 degrees. Then it gets shipped to you and the only part of the journey that matters is that final shipping?

The reason wine is not treated like milk is because it isn't milk. Millions of bottles are sold every year and there isn't a big hue and cry about spoiled wine. And there are several reasons for that. First, as others have said, wine is a little more robust than people think. Second, shippers to take "reasonable" precautions, e.g. a lot of them essentially shut down shipping during the hottest months. Third, 99% of the population wouldn't know if the wine was damaged anyway, including most on this board. Fourth, it would raise the price of wine and people would not like that. Finally, the current method seems to be working and nobody is going to solve a problem that isn't apparent. There's no money in solving theoretical problems and if there is in fact some damage, it's cheaper to give one complaining guy a refund than to invest in new infrastructure to please that guy.

Do I have wine shipped in heat? No. There's someone who's pushing me right now to take delivery of a few cases from the opposite coast but I don't want them sent until December. Then I'll have them sent ground, as I've done for many years. After many dozens of cases, you kind of figure out that the wine will be fine. Only twice have I had problems and in both cases, the shipper immediately refunded my money.
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#44 Post by Mike Davila » October 6th, 2019, 12:25 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call that some wine was being delivered to my residence. All I could think at the time was, sh!t why is anyone shipping wine to Florida in September.

I had forgotten that Seven Stones was using a refrigerated shipping service, which is called Wine Vault. They use their own refrigerated trucks and claim door-to-door delivery with the temperature maintained at 55 degrees. The shipping cost for a six pack of 750’s was $45. Great experience, they even offer to put the wine directly in your cellar, I wish more wineries would use this service.

As a side benefit the wine is not placed in a shipper of any type, which I assume is because it’s not being tossed around by a couple of gorillas. There was just a tight fitting cardboard box around the winery box.

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#45 Post by Richard Albert » October 6th, 2019, 3:49 pm

Unexpected BOOM!

My shipper has told me that UPS uses lots of trains for ground service transportation.
ITB

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#46 Post by Jason T » October 7th, 2019, 1:06 am

Richard Albert wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 3:49 pm
Unexpected BOOM!

My shipper has told me that UPS uses lots of trains for ground service transportation.
I thought this was common, or relatively common knowledge? My assumption is that anything moving more than a time zone east or west is doing so by train.
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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#47 Post by David Glasser » October 7th, 2019, 6:44 am

I've posted on a comparison similar to David Bueker's, but with 3 cases of 1983 Prieure Lichine. Half was my father's, stored from 1986 to 1992 in his basement that routinely got into the low-mid 70s in summer in NJ . The rest was in my temp-controlled cellar at 55-57 degrees. I inherited his bottles in 1992 and put them in my cellar. I was able to do multiple blind and non-blind comparisons over the years.

The passively stored bottles drank better earlier and worse later, consistent with the theory that higher temps accelerate aging. It was impossible to truly compare peaks in a blind fashion because they occurred at different times. Maybe the temp-controlled bottles peaked a little higher but I can’t say that there were dramatic differences.

But shipping involves a few days or weeks of exposure, not years. I can’t imagine that 70s matters, or even low 80s for a few days though I’d rather not chance it. High 80s and 90s I believe causes damage. If the wine itself gets that hot.

There's no simple single solution as there are differences between wine shipped overseas in reefers and overland by train, plane, or truck, and there are multiple transfer points between winery and consumer where the wine might get hot depending on how it’s packed.

Importers, domestic wineries, and retailers each have a different perspective. Some don’t think there’s a problem: maybe they don’t believe or most of their wine is destined for short-term consumption by people who wouldn’t notice a difference. Cooked wine won’t give you Salmonella.

Some don’t see a cost/benefit in support of eliminating those points in the shipping process where the wine can get hot. Pallets sitting in the summer sun and heat waiting to be loaded for the next phase of the journey seems like an easily avoided risk. Unless you’re a shipper with a deadline and another load to haul.

And some may care but don’t think outside the local forecast. Or use fulfillment centers that don’t understand.

For those of us getting small shipments via FedEx or UPS, it makes sense to check the weather and use overnight or two day, avoiding weekends. Because as Greg notes, those guys just move boxes. Point A to point B is the extent of their responsibility.

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#48 Post by Richard Albert » October 7th, 2019, 7:13 am

Jason, a couple of posts made me think use of rail was not universally known.
I think it is safe to assume that rail is used without crossing a time zone as well.
ITB

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#49 Post by Scott Jameson » October 7th, 2019, 7:31 am

Richard Albert wrote:
October 7th, 2019, 7:13 am
Jason, a couple of posts made me think use of rail was not universally known.
I think it is safe to assume that rail is used without crossing a time zone as well.
As I understand it, UPS uses rail, but FedEx (Ground & Home) doesn't. They use trucks.

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Re: How can I track the temperature along a shipping route?

#50 Post by Chris Seiber » October 7th, 2019, 9:40 am

Frank Drew wrote:
October 6th, 2019, 9:08 am
As for wine’s alleged robustness, is there anyone here who would willingly choose a wine that had been exposed to temperatures in the 80s and above for at least a few weeks vs one known to have been kept below, say, 60-65 it’s entire life? If so, please raise your hands.
Is there anyone here who would bet good money of his own that he could correctly identify those two categories of bottles in a blind tasting, at any age of the bottles? Frank, how much would you bet me on that?

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