Arizona winery looks to other forms of bottling during glass shortage, supply chain issues

Store shelves are empty and deliveries are delayed – much of this can be blamed on disruptions to the supply chain the U.S., including Arizona, have been dealing with for months.

Now, small businesses are having to pivot especially with the holiday season coming up.

Small business owners are dealing with having to juggle the fact that they don’t have all their stock, come up with new plans, figure out how to stay afloat and make sure their businesses can thrive.

Merkin Vineyards is a family-owned business based in Jerome. They own a Scottsdale wine bar, which is feeling the impacts of the supply chain disruptions.

"We bottle all our own wines. The issue we are going to be facing a little bit now and the coming months is an industry-wide glass shortage," said Calvin Arnold, national sales director for Merkin Vineyards.

They are seeing delayed arrival times for packaging materials, glass, corks and labels.

"When our customers in Australia are on the east coast and can’t get wine, we really need packaging material, bottles, corks, labels for those kinds of customers," Arnold said.

These issues aren't unique to the wine industry. Businesses all over the nation are facing significant hurdles.

Why? Cargo ships are waiting at ports and there is a shortage of workers.

"Small businesses are faced with everything right now, they can’t get the products they need," explained Rhett Doolittle, CEO of Business Warrior.

Business Warrior is a software company based in the Phoenix area, helping businesses with their needs through funding and attracting more customers.

He says right now is the time for small businesses to change their models.

"You can’t control your stuff sitting on a ship in the Pacific Ocean, but what you can control is what can you buy that can come in now, and buy it now and load up on inventory now," Doolittle said.

So, this is what Merkin Vineyards is doing.

In case they can’t get their hands on glass soon, Arnold says, "Not only do we put wine in kegs, we put wine in cans. We have different bottles and we are looking at different bottle supplies, getting orders in early and anticipate the last need before it is a crisis."

As far as the supply chain issues, the Wall Street Journal says on Nov. 14 the cost to move a container across the pacific fell by more than a quarter.

However, there is still a log jam of ships outside U.S. ports that could last for months.

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