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Thwarting Theft and Damage: Shipping Tequila Safely

When a tequila producer wanted to prevent damage and theft during transit, UPDS found a way to ship it safely by rail.

Released July 19, 2017 Case Study


Tequila can be a tricky product to ship. For one, the containers are glass, so they break easily. Tequila is also a high-value product, making it an attractive target for theft.

Shipper Challenges

Our customer, a tequila producer, had been moving the product by truck, but wanted to find a safer, more affordable option.

Shipping by truck left the product vulnerable to thieves. With each truckload valued at more than $500,000, the high incidence of theft was costly. It was time for a more secure method.

The customer was also paying high rates to ship by truck. It was clear rail offered a more economical option, but would bottles arrive in tact? And could rail cars be theft-proof?

The UPDS Solution

At UPDS, we don’t shy away from solutions, even when they present unique challenges. Confident that we could resolve the customer’s problems, we set out to make it possible to ship tequila by rail.

First, we customized a loading plan to prevent damage during transit. Test shipments proved the bottles could make the trip by rail safely.

Next, we arranged to have the rail cars carrying tequila sealed with high-security, bullet-proof, titanium electronic locking seals that would be incredibly difficult for thieves to penetrate. We then monitored the cars closely to keep them moving and out of reach from thieves. We also set up deviation alerts to detect any fraudulent activity.

Our Results

With a new rail solution in place, incidents of theft and damage decreased dramatically. While the solution was seamless to the customer, they have a safer, more affordable way to ship. They are also moving three to four times more product per shipment thanks to rail — and they’re saving money in the process.

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