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Southern Glazer’s launches Ankaa Global Logistics

The largest drinks distributor in the US has formed a specialist logistics arm of the business, available to all drinks suppliers “regardless of their relationship with Southern Glazer’s,” db learns. 

Southern Glazer’s announced this week that it has launched the wholly-owned subsidiary Ankaa Global Logistics as a “premier logistics service provider” for the drinks industry.

Currently located across two bases in Kentucky and California, Ankaa plans to open another facility in Florida in 2024, and claims to have “unparalleled services, and inventory transparency”.

The new logistics business intends to offer expanded storage capacity for the industry “at a competitive price”, driving increased speed to market, and bringing products closer to customers.

db speaks to Southern Glazer’s about its strategy for the new business.

What makes Ankaa fundamentally different from other US logistics providers? And why launch now when the logistics industry is only just emerging from one of its most testing times?

“Ankaa provides access to the North American Market faster and with more transparency, using advanced technology to provide end-to-end visibility on product movement within the US,” Bobby Burg, chief supply chain officer, Southern Glazer’s, tells the drinks business on the company’s USP.

According to a press release issued by Southern Glazer’s, not only will Ankaa provide temperature-controlled rooms for inventory storage (on both a short- and long-term basis), it will also offer packaging solutions such as labelling, and be able to store raw materials including glass and cardboard, as well as barrels and finished goods.

Perhaps most interesting, though, is its claim to “offer opportunities for product launches”. By which it means that Ankaa will be able to help brands to launch their new products into various markets, rather than working with brands to design, manufacture and bring to life new products from scratch.

“Challenges exist in getting new innovations into multiple market places and states in the continental US,” explains Burg.

“Ankaa’s strategically placed centres can ease the process of introduction and allow for agility in flexing for geographies that are exceeding estimates and balancing goods into the marketplace.”

Burg goes on to say that Ankaa’s centres can be utilised for co- packing as well as providing space “for bottlers and manufacturers in the US.”

With the logistics industry only just getting back on its feet having been rocked by the soaring cost of fuel, months-long delays and labour strikes, costing the global supply chain around US$82 million per company, Ankaa must be supremely confident in its ability to weather coming storms.

Has the company’s launch come in response to specific pain-points that Southern Glazer’s has experienced in the logistics field in recent years? In other words, through Ankaa has Southern Glazer’s created a solution to the problem?

“The last few years have been a particularly challenging period for the logistics industry,” says Borg.

“Ankaa has been in discussion for a few years, and while Covid accelerated the business case for these services, its clear benefit is for our suppliers to have a familiar, experienced, integrated, and trusted partner in solving their storage needs in the US while providing additional value added services.”

Operating independently from its parent company, Ankaa’s services are open to all wine and spirits suppliers, “regardless of their relationship with Southern Glazer’s.”

“Our team brings decades of beverage alcohol supply chain experience to the table,” says Burg. “We have a unique and deep understanding of the evolving nature of our industry and want to support suppliers as they grow and expand their brands.”

Ankaa will be headed up by general manager Ed Uber, who worked with Southern Glazer’s to launch the logistics arm. Prior to the appointment Uber was vice president of operations for Southern Glazer’s luxury brand partners, working across the beauty and fashion industries.


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