State of Pennsylvania

10/28/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/28/2021 07:38

Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board Earns Best Distribution Innovation Award from National Industry Publication

Harrisburg - The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today announced it won Best Distribution Innovation in the 2021 StateWays Control States Best Practices Awards for its modern, expanded, secure distribution center in Philadelphia.

In presenting the award, StateWays recognized the PLCB for its smooth transition to KLS, the third-party logistics provider that operates the center, and to a center that is "larger, technologically advanced, adaptable to change, and more efficient to support PLCB distribution requirements."

The new distribution facility, which opened in October 2020, is nearly 30% larger than the former center and allows the PLCB to house almost double the amount of product - up to 1.5 million cases as compared with 850,000 before. The receiving operation is much more efficient, due to the increased number of dock doors - currently 40 fully functional dock doors with the ability to expand up to 90, as compared to the previous 18 - and a better physical layout.

Additionally, climate-controlled storage, a dedicated secure storage area for high-value product, and the installment of a new, fully equipped fleet of trucks has enhanced the ability to receive and house products from vendors, and to deliver these products to an expanded number of Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores and liquor licensees in the five-county Philadelphia region.

The former PLCB distribution facility relied on an archaic picking platform comprised of three miles of conveyor belts. The new facility has replaced those belts with a system of forklifts and electronic pallet jacks, and brand-new voice-picking that enables a faster and more accurate pick process, improving order accuracy, reducing damage and loss, and enabling faster fulfillment and delivery of orders to stores and licensees.

"In addition to a brand-new picking system that's enabled the PLCB to pick and pack products faster and with greater accuracy, an all-new fleet of trucks that are now equipped with electric lift gates, GPS tracking, and cameras have allowed the PLCB to deliver products to locations previously unable to be served while reducing damages and loss," said PLCB Executive Director Michael Demko. "New technology has also enabled 100% audits on all inbound and outbound shipments."

"Ensuring a seamless transition to not only a new distribution center but also to a new third-party logistics provider was critically important for our retail stores and thousands of licensees in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The fact that it not only went smoothly but is now an award-winning project speaks to the professionalism, planning, and execution of the PLCB team and our partners in the process," said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden. "We are pleased and proud to share this recognition with our employees, with KLS, and with the people of Pennsylvania who benefit from these systems improvements."

StateWays, the only national magazine devoted to the issues and subjects affecting control state systems, established its Control State Best Practices Awards in 2015 to recognize control state agencies that are leading the industry in innovation, education, and enforcement. Winners, including the PLCB as the winner of the Best Distribution Innovation award, are featured in the Fall 2021 issue of StateWays.

In 2016, the PLCB was named Overall Winner in that year's StateWays Control States Best Practices Awards, an honor that recognized Pennsylvania as a leader in the beverage alcohol industry for its innovations in retail, wholesale operations, alcohol education, technology, and regulatory affairs.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates 600 wine and spirits stores statewide, and licenses 20,000 alcohol producers, retailers, and handlers. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups, and licensees. Taxes and store profits - totaling nearly $18.7 billion since the agency's inception - are returned to Pennsylvania's General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania's schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies, and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit


PLCB - Shawn M. Kelly, 717.303.8522
StateWays - Jeremy Nedelka, 763.383.4413