• Published: October 17, 2021
  • Last Updated: November 18, 2021

As we head into the Holiday season, the LCBO continues to closely monitor global supply issues facing the international beverage alcohol industry and LCBO’s supply chain, including any potential impacts to our service levels and fill rates.

The most significant issues currently include: 

  1. Transportation issues, the imbalance of equipment, congestion in ports, and blank sailings. These issues are resulting in an average three week delay in container ships, with some locations experiencing up to a six week delay. This accounts for approximately a third of LCBO’s stock shortages. 
  2. The ongoing considerations of COVID-19 and our suppliers’ ability to keep up with continued changes in consumer demand. This accounts for approximately half of LCBO’s stock shortages. 

We are also monitoring the situation at the Port of Vancouver due to widespread flooding throughout the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions.

While our intention is always to keep the retail and wholesale customer experience as uninterrupted as possible, we are particularly mindful of the potential impact to imported and popular products across categories, including on some champagnes and sparkling sets, New world wines (New Zealand, Australia, South America), import spirits (particularly tequila and scotch), and international beer/cider.  

Some of these global supply chain issues are expected to continue into the next year, so we remain committed to working closely with our international supply chain partners and suppliers to stay informed and plan accordingly to ensure that our position remains strong.  

As I mentioned during my previous update at the end of May, we aim to share what we know, when we know it and to be transparent with you, our valued partners. This note is intended to inform you of the challenges we are facing, but also to confirm that our facilities and technologies remain fully operational, and our supply chain network continues to run seven days a week. 

Customers have shown patience when it comes to preferred product availability and delivery times, and we appreciate this continued understanding. We are encouraging customers to shop early this year for the best selection of gifts and holiday favourites.

As the province continues to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and realize positive results from health measures and vaccination rates, we look forward to a strong holiday season. Again, thank you for your ongoing partnership and dedication as we work together to help the economy recover while adapting to these evolving challenges. 

Thank you and stay safe, 

  • Nick Nanos 
  • Chief Supply Chain Officer, LCBO