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

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?

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Quotable:

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

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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!

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a journalist, editor and producer in Toronto. He covers Canada for FreightWaves, with a keen interest on the cross-border economic relationship with the United States. Nate spent seven years working as an investigative editor and reporter based in Kosovo. He covered everything from corruption to the country’s emerging wine industry. He also reported across the Balkans and investigated Albania’s multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Nate grew up in Berkeley, Calif. He enjoys exploring Toronto with his wife and is always looking forward to his next meal.

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