Receiving Green Coffee Deliveries

If you're buying coffee from Ally Open, you will receive it conveniently packaged in 25lb or 50lb boxes, depending on the coffee you ordered. This post has information for roasting operations that are receiving pallets of coffee to their facilities.

Ally Coffee is a green coffee company; we connect roasters around the world with green coffee sourced from other parts of the world. We offer many services, one of which is financing, allowing roasters to contract coffee but release it over the course of a pre-arranged delivery period, instead of paying for the full volume of the contract up front and receiving the coffee all at once.

Coffee is warehoused (in Hamburg, Dubai, or a US location) inside third party facilities alongside other green coffee owned by other companies. When you are ready to release your coffee, let your Account Manager know. Ally coffee issues a Delivery Order to the warehouse, indicating that coffee will now be released to its owner, you!

At this point, many roasters arrange their own freight, using a preferred carrier to transport coffee from the loading dock of the warehouse to the roastery doorstep. Other roasters choose to pick up small volumes from the warehouse themselves during the warehouse’s will-call pick up window. Ally also offers the service of arranging freight on behalf of our clients. Even though you are the owner of the coffee once the release has been requested, we extend the service of arranging freight to move coffees from the warehouse to your roastery. This is part of our effort to help all roasters, large and small, access exceptional green coffee. When we say we’re moving coffee forward, we are literally forwarding coffee freight to your door!

Coffee leaving the port of Santos, Brazil

Often, the final step of getting coffee out of a warehouse and to your roastery is the trickiest logistic puzzle of the whole supply chain. We’ll walk you through important points to know when planning to receive green deliveries to your roasting facility.

1. Requesting the Release

Help us help you — request the release as early as possible! We always do our best to rush last minute releases, but warehouses have strict cut off times and we must adhere to their hours. Our Account Managers are always happy to help you plan your volumes and to anticipate when and how much coffee you will need based on your production schedules.

Warehouses observe federal holidays, so keep in mind that these closures will affect delivery times, and that warehouses are typically busiest during these holiday seasons, so they may not be able to process Delivery Orders as quickly as at other times. Will-call pick up windows may also have different hours near the holidays.

2. Freight Expectations

If you choose to pick up your coffee, you will receive the Delivery Order from Ally and instructions from the warehouse regarding their will-call procedures and times. If you choose to book your own freight, you will be in direct communication with the freight carrier. If you choose to have Ally arrange freight, we will forward the tracking number for the shipment.

Delivery times provided by freight carriers are estimates. Trucking companies use the same roads as the rest of us. Traffic, construction, and weather conditions impact drivers’ ability to deliver coffee as planned.

1–2 day estimated delivery times, even “guaranteed” delivery, are dependent on weather and other conditions. Guaranteed transit times do not guarantee pick up from the warehouse. Sometimes, the driver comes to the warehouse ready to pick up the coffee, but the warehouse does not have the coffee ready. Other times, the warehouse has the coffee ready, but the driver does not make it in time to pick up. Guaranteed transit times mean that an order will be moved up in the route, but there are many conditions beyond drivers’ control and sometimes even orders that are first in line are not delivered as soon as anticipated. For this reason, we encourage you to place your release request as soon as you are running low on coffee. Do not wait until you have run out of coffee to place your next order!

Continental Terminals, Charleston, SC

3. Service Costs

Each stage in the delivery process incurs charges. These charges are made by warehouses and freight companies; Ally communicates these costs as part of the service we offer, but we do not earn anything by providing freight-arranging services to our clients. We have no influence on fees set by warehouses or carriers.

These piecemeal charges, called Accessorial Charges, are for services like pre-delivery phone calls, delivery appointments, delivery to a residential address, and use of a liftgate. If these services were not ordered ahead of time and included in the freight quote, they will be billed retroactively. If you would like a driver to call when he or she is close, this is an accessorial charge. If you would like to schedule a delivery appointment, this is an accessorial charge. If you require a liftgate to lower coffee off the back of the truck to a ground-level facility (one that does not have a loading dock), this is an accessorial charge.

Accessorial Charges include:

  • Driver call-ahead
  • Delivery appointment
  • Liftgate
  • Delivery to a residential address

Any time a liftgate is used, there is a charge. If a driver offers to use a liftgate but you did not request this service and do not wish to pay for this service, then someone from your roastery must remove the coffee from the truck. The driver cannot perform this service manually. Even though call-ahead, appointment, and lift gate services involve fees, sometimes they are the right fit for a business. The better you know your business needs the better you can plan for the cost of delivery services.

4. Your Facility Profile

If Ally is arranging freight on your behalf, the more complete a profile we have of your business the better we can communicate with carriers to help facilitate a smooth delivery. The first important question: Can your business receive deliveries? Consider,

  • Have you received a delivery to this address before?
  • Was that delivery made by a 53-ft truck?

If your business is located in a neighborhood that cannot accommodate a 53-foot truck, such as a historic downtown district, please communicate that so that your order can be sent in a smaller vehicle.

Carriers will also need to know:

  1. Address of the roastery facility — please clearly indicate that this is the address where you will receive full bags of green coffee. If this address is different from your business office or the location where you receive samples, please inform your Account Manager.
  2. Hours of Operation
    1. When is the business open?
    2. Will someone be able to receive deliveries during that time?
  3. Is this a residential address? If so, there may be an accessorial charge

If you have any other instructions related to receiving deliveries at your facility, such as the location of a driveway or door on the side or back of a building, a missing street sign, or a shared facility such as a co-roasting space, please share these with us ahead of time! We can save these notes on your profile to pass along to the driver each time we arrange freight. We can add special one-time instructions for a single order.

Continental Terminals, Charleston, SC

5. Consolidation

Another complimentary service Ally offers is consolidating your order with coffee from other suppliers. This often takes the form of a mixed pallet, with coffee from both Ally and other suppliers combined. In the case of consolidations, you must provide the Delivery Orders for the other coffees; Ally cannot request release of coffee that belongs to another importer or to you. Please note that pick up may be delayed until the warehouse receives Delivery Orders for all coffees in the combined order.

In the case of consolidations, Ally is not responsible for lost or damaged coffee from another vendor.

6. How to receive your coffee order

When your coffee arrives to your facility, a driver will present you with a freight delivery receipt, also known as a proof of delivery (POD), to sign. The POD indicates that you, as owner and new recipient of your coffee, acknowledge and accept delivery, including the condition in which the coffee was delivered. If there is any damage to the coffee or loss due to ripped bags, you must record it on the POD and report this loss or damage to your Account Manager.

Depending on the situation, Ally may be able to credit your account for a loss of coffee. However, we can only do so if loss or damage was both visibly apparent and noted at the time of delivery. The nature of the loss or damage must be recorded on the POD.

“When your shipment arrives, inspect your delivery prior to signing the delivery receipt (POD). A signature on the delivery receipt indicates you accept ownership of the goods as-is and you release the carrier from any liability for loss or damage to your property. Drivers are obligated to wait while you complete a full inspection. If there are issues, take color photos and be sure to include full bag marks in the photos. Write any issues describing the loss or damage and the number of bags affected on the delivery receipt before signing. Notify your Ally Account Manager immediately.”
Jess Valverde, Ally Coffee logistics.

Coffee arriving to the DMCC warehouse in Dubai

7. Extenuating Circumstances

Accidents happen. Mistakes happen. Coffee does not always arrive as expected. Most palletized coffee is wrapped and strapped. When you receive your coffee, check to make sure that all packing is intact. For example, coffees from CTI NJ will have Continental tape on the pallet wrapping. Different taping could indicate that coffee was damaged and rewrapped. Always make a careful inspection of your coffee.

If you report any damage when you sign the POD, the carrier does not communicate this to Ally. Please also communicate what you reported on the POD directly to your Account Manager, including forwarding the photos that document the loss or damage. The sooner we know about a problem, the sooner we can work to rectify it. It is difficult for our logistics team to respond to loss or damage reports days or weeks after coffee was delivered.

Coffee moves through many hands in the supply chain, and often there are several transfers of custody in the final stage of moving coffee from the warehouse to your roastery. We are here to help you receive your green as quickly and as seamlessly as possible so that you can get back to roasting coffee and serving your customers!

Questions? Contact your Account Manager or get in touch with us via this form on our website.

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