Explainers Competition Policy

Modernizing the Alcohol Supply Chain for the 21st Century

C. Jarrett Dieterle
Resident Senior Fellow, Competition Policy


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, “logistics” was becoming a popular buzzword. While logistics may sound like an esoteric topic that is only of interest to transportation policy experts, the reality is that logistics undergird the functioning of our modern economy.

To understand why, one needs to understand that logistics refers to the efficient, timely and secure movement of products from one location to another. Logistics are so important because they have come to represent a massive part of the economy: In 2018, businesses tallied $1.64 trillion in transportation and logistics costs, which accounts for over 8 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

During COVID-19, the importance of innovative logistical networks and efficient supply chains has only grown in importance. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains in nearly every industry, and alcohol shortages have been reported in numerous states as a result of supply shortages.

With outdated laws at the state and local level, the alcohol industry is laboring under a 20th century logistics system in a 21st century world.

Featured Publications