Industry disruptor Alexi Cashen, CEO of Elenteny Imports, can provide insights on how the pandemic and tariffs have affected the supply chain/distributors/importers in the alcohol industry. Elenteny helps importers and wineries with cost-savings solutions to transport their brands to the United States. As importers face multiple roadblocks from tariffs, customs, shipping, Elenteny handles all the details of compliance, logistics, and delivery. Simply put, a fine-wine importer will source and sell its product, such as a Riesling from Germany, and Elenteny Imports takes care of the logistical steps in between.
The pandemic, combined with other challenges, created the biggest shipping challenge in the last 20 years. From October of 2019 to March of 2021, Elenteny Imports' freight bookings were down 32 percent, and the firm paid $8.3 million in tariff duties to customs officials. That's $8.3 million that could have gone straight to the bottom line of these small businesses.