Japanese wine lovers who uncorked a bottle of the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau on Nov. 17 had UPS Supply Chain Solutions to thank. To guarantee that the new vintage would be available on its official release date, the UPS division coordinated a complicated multistage move that stretched across two continents.
To get the 700,000 bottles to their destination on time, UPS Supply Chain Solutions chartered seven cargo aircraft to fly to Japan between Nov. 5 and 11. The planes took off from Vatry (in the Marne), Châteauroux (in the Indre) and Brescia (Italy), bound for the Japanese airports of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. From there, the cases were delivered to wine and spirit merchants in Japan. Though UPS has delivered the Beaujolais Nouveau in the past, it found this year's task to be particularly challenging. In total, it had to move 750 metric tons of wine from France to Japan in less than 72 hours. In 2004, it moved only 130 metric tons.