Global glass shortage affects the liquor industry

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The alcohol industry which has been trying to recover losses emanating from lockdown restrictions and COVID-19-related bans is now facing another challenge, a global shortage of glass bottles.

Glass bottle manufacturers are feeling the pinch of the global supply chain constraints and delays on the shipment due to COVID-19.

Glass manufacturing company Consol and alcohol producer Distell have reportedly confirmed being affected by the glass bottle shortage but believe the challenge to be temporary.

Liquor traders say the glass shortage will be an added loss over and above the revenue loss resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

The Liquor Traders Association says the informal liquor sector is already struggling to recover from the three alcohol bans which were imposed by government to stop the spread of the virus.

SA Liquor Traders Association spokesperson Lucky Ntimane says, “So the issues of supply chain issues that are being experienced by liquor manufacturers affect us directly as liquor traders because without stock we are not able to run our businesses.  So the fact that there aren’t any glasses available to fill liquids such as savanna and others means that our recovery efforts are going to take a bit of time so definitely it means that we won’t be able to sell the stock since it’s not available.”

Liquor traders say the shortage of glass bottles has affected the deliveries of certain brands which in turn affects their alcohol stock levels.

Wholesale Liquor trader Wilson Dube says, “We are losing a lot. Firstly, we are losing our customers because you know if you don’t have stock they’re gonna go somewhere else and get whatever they get there. We’re trying to get our targets but we can’t because we don’t have stock.”

Tavern operator Hilda Mphahlele says, “It affects us very much because always there’s no stock. So our customers think maybe we don’t stock enough only to find that it’s breweries, it’s not us.”

Glass manufacturer, Consol says it is currently experiencing short-term supply disruption based on growth since returning from various lockdowns and alcohol bans. It says there are several issues impacting the availability of beverage supply, of which glass availability is just one.

Glass shortage affects the liquor industry: