SAQ is a provincial Crown corporation in Quebec, responsible for the trade of alcoholic beverages within the Canadian province. With 407 stores, SAQ has annual sales of $3.2 billion (CAD). To offer Quebecers appealing brands, SAQ imports wine and liquor from around the world, working with suppliers in approximately 60 countries. This leads to tremendous challenges for the corporation’s supply chain.
Prior to engaging with CHEP, SAQ received pallets every day of varying size and quality, loaded with bottles – and not all of those pallets fit with the SAQ racking equipment. In addition, inconsistent recycled whitewood pallets created waste.
To address these and other issues, SAQ decided to standardize its pallet platform for the 2,000 businesses it works with around the world. CHEP offers a proven platform and supply chain expertise required for that kind of international flow solution.
To simplify the process, CHEP and SAQ began with a pilot program. Suppliers in Italy were the first to transition to CHEP 48x40-inch pooled (shared and reused) pallets; followed by suppliers in France, Spain and Portugal.
One of the earliest suppliers to take part in the standardization process was Gruppo Italiano Vini, the number one wine grower-producer in Italy. Francesco Coppola, the company’s Supply Chain Manager, says he is “extremely satisfied about CHEP being a sustainable alternative for shipments overseas.”
AdVini, the French leader in terroir wines, was another early adapter. “We are pleased to have extended our partnership with CHEP,” says Raymond Plantade, Director at AdVini. “Thanks to this new collaboration, our company joined an ecofriendly program to better serve our supply chain.”
In terms of sustainability, the standardized platform removes recycled whitewood pallets from SAQ operations and enables SAQ to remove thousands of empty miles from its supply chain every year.
In addition, using the standardized 48x40-inch platform eliminates the need to repalletize the alcohol shipped to SAQ. With that step removed, there’s less product damage; workers also save time and benefit from a safer work environment.
SAQ has received substantial benefits from standardizing its platform with CHEP’s pooled pallets.
- Gained ability to convert 90% of the international flows.
- Closed the loop with customers on the other side of the world to save more than 35,000 metric tons of CO2e and 36,000 empty miles in the first year.
- Eliminated the need to repalletize the alcohol shipped to SAQ resulting in less product damage, time savings and a safer work environment.