As we head into the summer season, the LCBO continues to closely monitor considerations facing the international beverage alcohol industry and LCBO’s supply chain and the potential for impact to our service levels and fills rates, most significantly:
- Transportation issues, the imbalance of equipment, congestion in ports, and blank sailings are resulting in more than half of the container ships arriving approximately one week late. This accounts for approximately a third of LCBO’s stock shortages.
- The lasting impact on the North Atlantic/Eastern Seaboard from this spring’s labour disruption at the Port of Montreal, through which a significant volume of our imported product (especially brands from Europe and Mexico) arrives. We expect this to improve in the coming weeks.
- The ongoing considerations of COVID-19 and our suppliers’ ability to keep up with continued changes in consumer demand. This accounts for approximately a third of LCBO’s stock shortages.
We are working closely with our international supply chain partners and suppliers to stay informed and plan accordingly to ensure that our position remains strong. While our intention is always to keep the retail and wholesale customer experience as uninterrupted as possible, we are mindful of the potential impact to imported and popular products across categories, including on some top US wines and within Champagnes and Sparkling sets, imported spirits, new and innovative RTDs, and international beers/ciders.
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. All of us as consumers have shown patience these days when it comes to preferred product availability and delivery times, and we appreciate our customers’ continued understanding.
Thank you for your ongoing partnership and dedication as we work together to adapt to this ever-changing environment. As the province moves more broadly into the next phase of safely easing restrictions put in place for COVID-19, including the restricted reopening of our licensee partners, we continue to plan as best we can and look forward to building on the positive momentum we see.
Thank you and stay safe,
- Nick Nanos
- Chief Supply Chain Officer, LCBO