Watch Now

Today’s pickup: Ontario’s government liquor stores are running out of booze

Most retail alcohol sales in Ontario happen at the provincial government LCBO stores. Photo: LCBO

Good day,

A transition to a new warehouse management system is delaying deliveries to liquor stores and wholesale customers, causing alcohol shortages in Canada’s province with the largest population. 

Annoyed customers have taken to social media, posting photos of empty shelves at Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) stores, which has a near-monopoly on the province’s alcohol market.

The government-owned company said the issue was confined to a warehouse near Toronto. 

“While the transition to the new system is progressing well, deliveries remain slightly behind schedule,” the LCBO said in a statement to CTV News

The LCBO, one of the world’s largest alcohol buyers, reported C$6.24 billion in revenue in its 2017-18 fiscal year. (A Canadian dollar equals US$0.77.)

Did you know?

The value of U.S. air exports increased by 0.8 percent, or $342 million, in May, while tonnage declined by 6 percent or 17.6 million kilograms. 


“Today’s cities are facing an identity crisis – they are working with 20th-century transportation tools but are facing 21st-century challenges.” 

– Avery Ash, head of autonomous mobility at Inrix, discussing the company’s new transportation platform

In Other News: 

White House to send USMCA to Congress after Labor Day

The White House plans to send the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, NAFTA’s successor, for Congressional approval after September 1. (CNBC

Ex-trooper sentenced for illegally accessing FMCSA database

A former Alabama state trooper was sentenced to two years of prohibition and fine $3,200 for illegally accessing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database for a carrier consulting firm. (Landline)

Man pleads guilty to smuggling people with unsuspecting truck drivers

A Mexican national pled guilty to a scheme that involved smuggling people into the U.S. in trailers without the knowledge of the truck drivers. (CDL Life)

Amazon warehouse workers plan Prime Day strike in Minnesota 

Workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, plan to strike for six hours on July 15, the first day of the company’s annual Prime Day sales event. (New York Daily News)

Final thoughts:

Apart from annoying Ontario’s drinkers, the shortage in the province’s liquor stores may intensify efforts to liberalize the sale and distribution of alcohol. An alcohol policy advisor for Ontario’s Conservative government has suggested it may try to privatize the LCBO’s distribution business. The LCBO contracts with carriers for transport, but has its own logistics department.

Hammer down everyone!

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]