Things to Consider When Choosing Your Packaging Supplier

Waterloo Container proudly supports the industry that supports us by maintaining a Business Associate Membership with the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. Offering insights into packaging related topics is another important way we help members make good choices with their hard-earned money and all-important brand.

Whether new or established, successful wineries must re-examine packaging supply choices regularly. A good place to start is with your packaging provider.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Packaging Supplier

Is The Supplier A Broker Or A Stock Distributor?

A stocking distributor has more incentive to develop relationships with you and with the vendor’s they represent. A true partner will work with you through the entire packaging process and will help you troubleshoot, assist with any quality issues and is willing to share knowledge with your success in mind. A broker is simply a middleman moving ware from supplier to customer, with no real investment in your success.

  • Do you prefer working with a website or a real person? Work with a company that establishes relationships with clients and is backed up by years of experience in the industry.
  • Can you buy what you want? Does your supplier require Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ’s) that are more than you want?

What Other Services Or Products Does The Supplier Offer?

You have a lot to do! Does your supplier have the ability to help you with all aspects of your packaging project? Ancillary services make all the difference. Direct glass printing shrink sleeving and re-pack can help you get the package you desire, ready-to-fill, and delivered to your door. This saves you labor costs and time when you need it most!

Will The Supplier Have What You Need When You Need It?

Forecasting: Wine bottles are made at glass factories on a very tight schedule. It is imperative that you work with your supplier to plan (forecast) for your future needs. Having a supplier that works directly with those factories can help you ensure that you get what you want when you want it.

Special Order vs. In Stock: Your bottle choice can affect availability.

  • Everyone wants to be different, but ordinary stock bottles can save money and ensure future supply. Make the label/sleeve/print speak for you instead. It is important to make sure your investment in your bottle choice makes sense for your desired price point.
  • Can your supplier guarantee they will continue to get the bottle you want to maintain your Brand Consistency? You do not want to have to switch bottles after you have achieved hard fought success with a brand and a look.
  • What glass colors are available / desired? Color affects cost and availability. Color additives add cost and glass factory production schedules vary depending on contracted requests. Be sure your supplier has a working relationship with the factories to ensure your forecast is in the schedule.
  • Your supply can be affected by issues in the country of manufacture. The glass must be here to get to your facility, and you will have no control over supply shortages, strikes or transportation (shipping) stoppages. Choosing a stocking supplier right here in the U.S. removes these unknowns.

Freight Considerations – What Do I Need To Think About?

Logistics: Arranging freight can be time consuming and overwhelming. Your time is valuable. Are you wasting it looking for freight quotes? Are you able to use your vendor’s connections to find the best carriers for your location? Can your carrier provide a portable forklift (or Moffett)? Does your location or loading dock require additional equipment or access charges? Having a vendor with freight knowledge can alleviate the uncertainty of navigating this complicated aspect of package procurement.

Cost: All costs associated with freight should be weighed when evaluating your supplier. While some foreign glass may appear to be less costly, the addition of tariffs, fees and freight costs can greatly reduce any cost benefit. Be sure you are adding those “hidden” fees into the cost of any quotes you receive.

Packaging Cost Financing – How Can My Supplier Help Me?

Financing: Does your supplier offer flexible payment terms or require upfront payment? Your cash outlay can be dramatically affected by your choice of vendor. Having the option of 30-day terms can make a big difference in your project timeline.

Make Sure Your Packaging Choices Align With Your Principles.

Do you feel strongly about where your glass is made? About the Environment? Ask your supplier where their glass is manufactured. Choose a supplier that supports the efforts you feel strongly about. If you want to support American workers, it is important to support vendors that work with facilities here in the US. Production standards (quality and environmental regulations)

Click here to learn more about the total packaging solutions offered by Waterloo Container. We understand the uniqueness of each individual winery and want to be the supplier you think of first when it comes to packaging.

Waterloo Container

Waterloo Container

Waterloo Container is a family-owned business started in 1980 to support the burgeoning wine industry in the Finger Lakes of New York and on the East Coast. Since then we have grown with our customers into a preeminent packaging supplier for Eastern North America. We take pride in being a one-stop shop for the highest quality glass containers and packaging products available.