Attending the Wine & Spirits Daily Summit Next Week?

The 6th Annual Wine & Spirits Daily Summit is taking place January 15-16, 2018, in Palm Beach, FL. As in years past, the Beer Industry Summit will precede the Wine & Spirits Daily Summit January 14, 2018. Both events will take place at The Breakers hotel and promise to provide extensive networking and educational opportunities. The Summits are regularly attended by top supplier, distributor, and retailer executives in the industry and facilitate the of making new connections as well as growth of industry knowledge base.

WSSA’s Managing Director, Alison Leavitt, will be attending the Wine & Spirits Daily Summit this year. If you are also attending and would like to schedule an appointment to discuss how WSSA can benefit your business, please contact us!


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SAVE THE DATE – WSSA’s Annual Marine Insurance Webinar

WSSA’s Annual Marine Insurance Webinar will be held Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 2:00pm EST. 

Join industry experts Rick Bridges and Alison Leavitt as they discuss one of the most misunderstood types of insurance. This free online seminar will broaden your insight of transportation coverage and provide essential tips and tricks on how you can ensure your cargo is protected. Topics of discussion will include:

WSSA Insurance Advantage

See how you can take advantage of one of the best insurance programs in the industry.

Natural Disaster Coverage

With more natural disasters taking place than ever before, find out what you can do to mitigate your risk. 

Warehouse Inventory & Domestic Trucking

Warehouses and truckers will lead you to believe your goods are covered fully under their policies, but often that is not the case. Find out what you can do to protect your goods in storage & on the road!


Mark your calendars because this is an educational event you do not want to miss!

Stay tuned for upcoming webinar details and registration information. 

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New Tax Bill: Understanding the Changes to the Alcohol Industry

The beer industry, and especially craft beer brewers and importers, are rejoicing at the pass of the tax reform bill on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017. With the enactment of this bill, brewers and importers who produce less than 60,000 barrels of beer a year will see their excise tax rate fall from $7 a barrel to $3.50 a barrel. This is great news for the industry as the Brewer’s Association estimates that 97% of breweries in the country generate less than 60,000 barrels. Larger breweries, those who produce between 60,000 and 2 million barrels a year, will pay $3.50 for their first 60,000 barrels, then $16 for any barrels over that number – a savings of $2 per barrel, as the previous rate was $18.

This measure in the bill will benefit all breweries and craft beer importers, but will especially allow for smaller craft breweries to use the savings to invest and grow their businesses. A national trade organization for the beer industry, the Brewer’s Institute, estimates that the savings produced from this tax reform could generate up to 320 million dollars of annual economic growth within the beer industry.

The beer industry is not the only one to benefit from this bill. Wine and spirits producers and importers are also celebrating the recent enactment. Wineries will receive a $1 credit per gallon for their first 30,000 gallons made, $0.90 for the next 100,000, and $0.535 for the next 620,000. Wineries making more than 750,000 gallons will pay the full tax rate on everything over that amount. Additionally, in the bill there is a provision to increase the alcohol level at which a wine can be taxed as table wine – $1.07 per gallon. Currently, wines exceeding 14% ABV are taxed at $1.57 per gallon. The beverage act would increase that threshold to 16%, making higher alcohol wines taxable at the $1.07 tax rate. The provision also allows for certain lower alcohol wines (below 8.5% ABV) to have increased carbonation. Both of these provisions apply to domestically produced and imported wines.

For distilled spirits, the tax rate will drop from $13.50 to $2.70 for the first 100,000 proof gallons produced or imported. For all proof gallons above 100,000 but less than 22,130,000, the tax rate will become $13.34, and for amounts greater than 22,130,000, the tax rate will be $13.50. Both of these reductions will allow for wineries and distilleries to re-invest in their businesses and stimulate production and job growth within their regions.

While alcohol producers and importers are excited about this change, they also know that it may be short lived. The measure in the bill will expire after two years, and may be eligible for extension. For now, those in the industry plan to buckle down and take advantage of this savings opportunity.

For qualifying importers, CBP/Customs and Border Protection and brokerage software providers will work through the needed adjustments, and the expectation is that any tax payments made at pre-tax bill rates would be reclassified retroactively and refunds will be processed. Likewise, for our clients, we will work with you to streamline the changes in recordkeeping that this tax form brings, and we will keep you informed of any updates regarding the bill in the future. As of now, CBP (Customs and Border Protection) has not received any new protocols for handling collection of taxes, nor has the system been updated to accommodate the changes. We also have many questions in regards to the eligibility by producer, assignment of importer, and other items that we are investigating. We are gathering questions from our members and working on a list of FAQs to post to our website.  Please send us any question or concerns you may have and we will add them to the list.

For a more in-depth summary of the bill, please visit the attached committee report and navigate the pages 519-531.


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Winter Storm Grayson Port Closures

Winter storm Grayson is hitting the East Coast with full force, bringing with it record snow totals and wind gusts. Due to the inclement weather conditions, ports along the Eastern seaboard have issued alerts and closures for the day, which can be found below.


PORT CLOSED. All gate, yard, and vessel operations are suspended due to inclement weather.


PORT CLOSING. Due to inclement weather, truck lines at all container terminals will be cut at 10:30am.

Truck Service Center is closing today at 10am. 

APM Terminal Ops Status: Closing at 10:30 AM. 

PNCT Terminal Ops Status: Closing at 10:30 AM.


Port Open – Monitoring weather closely, but no closures announced as of now.


Port Open – no closures announced as of now.


PORT CLOSED. All gate, yard, and vessel operations are suspended due to inclement weather.


Port Open – Monitoring weather closely, but no closures announced as of now.


PORT CURRENTLY CLOSED. Terminal operations will resume at 1 p.m.

Please note that extended container gate hours are planned for Thursday.

North Charleston and Wando Welch terminals will be OPEN until 10 pm, with the last truck in the gate by 9:30 pm.

Reefer gate hours are 1 pm until 9 pm.


PORT CURRENTLY CLOSED. Terminal operations will resume at 1 p.m.


Port Open – normal conditions

Please be aware these closures may cause delays. We will monitor the status of the storm and port closures and keep you informed of any changes.

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Protect Your Cargo from the Freezing Temps!

It’s cold out there! Make sure your cargo is protected from the freezing temperatures by shipping in a temperature controlled container or using a thermal liner! You can also take advantage of the solutions WSSA offers to ensure your cargo is protected during the winter months:

Optional Temperature Coverage

Optional Temperature Coverage (OTC) is an additional insurance coverage that can be applied to shipments using thermal liners. This coverage ensures protection for any temperature-related damage.

Winter Wine Program

WSSA’s Winter Wine Program works by shipping your wine in a standard or insulated container to a warm weather US port. Once it clears customs, the wine is loaded into a heated trailer for transport directly to your door!

Contact us today to protect your cargo from the freezing temperatures using either of these methods! Stay warm!


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Happy New Year from WSSA!


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Happy Holidays from WSSA!


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