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Shipping alcohol with USPS, UPS, and FedEx

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Mailing and shipping alcohol carries certain restrictions based on the carrier you are choosing. In this article, we go over shipping alcohol through the main three carriers:


USPS

USPS does not allow for the mailing or shipment of alcohol, domestically or internationally.

On top of this, if you are using packaging that was once used to carry alcohol, any and all labeling or branding that shows it could carry alcohol should be covered or else your package can be denied shipment.

 


UPS

UPS permits the shipment of alcohol; however, they have a few specific requirements:

UPS account number:

You must have an account with UPS. 

Alcohol shipping agreement:

UPS allows for the shipment of wine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages on a per-contract basis.

Alcohol shipping license:

All shippers of alcohol must be licensed and authorized to ship according to the applicable federal or state laws and regulations of the origin and destination states.

Destination restrictions:

UPS does not accept shipments of beer or alcohol for delivery to consumers. UPS accepts shipments of beer or alcohol only among and between selected states.

The ability to ship wine depends upon the nature of the shipper's license to sell wine, and the laws of the destination states. Learn more.

Proper packing:
  • Inner packaging of molded Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, folded corrugated tray, or molded fiber tray.
  • Each packaging component secures the bottles into the center of the shipping container away from the side walls of the shipper.
  • Use of sturdy outer corrugated containers.
Clear labeling:

UPS requires a special label signifying that the package contains alcohol. These can be obtained from UPS.  In addition, other labeling may be required by the origin or destination state.

Documented shipment:

You must create your shipping label with a UPS Compatible Shipping Solution such as WorldShip or any approved third-party vendor system, such as ShippingEasy.

Adult signature:

An adult signature is required for the final delivery of the package. It cannot be dropped off at an address unless someone over 21, with proper identification, signs for it.

For all requirements, read UPS' guide to shipping alcohol with UPS.

 


FedEx

While FedEx permits the shipment of alcohol, unfortunately compliant labels cannot be generated through ShippingEasy. For your reference, here are the specific requirements when generating the label with FedEx:

FedEx account number:

You must have an account with FedEx. 

Alcohol shipping agreement:

You need to sign an alcohol shipping agreement with FedEx. This can be completed by contacting your FedEx account manager.

Proper packing:
  • Packaging that ensures your alcoholic shipment is secure.
  • Completely covered in something soft to prevent glass breakage.
  • Can absorb liquid if the bottle happens to break. 
Clear labeling:

Fedex requires a special label signifying that the package contains alcohol. These can be obtained from FedEx.

Documented shipment:

You can create your shipping label using a FedEx Ship Manager® electronic shipping. This allows FedEx to readily report wine-shipping activity to state authorities as required.

All wine shipments must be identified by entering "$AW" in the Your Reference field or the Customer Reference field on the shipping solution. If you are generating your label outside of FedEx Ship Manager®, "$AW" must be manually keyed into the Reference field. 

Adult signature:

An adult signature is required for the final delivery of the package. It cannot be dropped off at an address unless someone over 21, with proper identification, signs for it.

For all requirements, read FedEx's guide to shipping alcohol with FedEx.

 

 


Related articles:

How to: Connect a UPS account with ShippingEasy
Shipping tobacco with USPS, UPS, and FedEx
What are the restrictions on international mail?
Know How: Protect your shipments + ensure delivery
Know How: Free supplies + custom packages

 

Comments

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  • Avatar
    Gloria Johnson

    I can't find the answer to the question: may I mail opened bottles of acrylic paints and other media liquids? I want to auction them on EBay. If so, does the service provider offer packaging too?

    Edited by Gloria Johnson
  • Avatar
    Jennifer R. [ShippingEasy]

    Hi Gloria - USPS allows shipping of liquids, as long as they are packaged properly, do not contain an odor, and are not flammable, explosive, or corrosive. So, you should be find to ship any artist media that meets that description. However, it may be best to contact the carrier directly to confirm if the items you would like to ship are permitted.

    USPS also posts their shipping restrictions, which may help your research: https://www.usps.com/ship/shipping-restrictions.htm

    USPS provides many of their packaging options to shippers at no cost, including Flat Rate packaging and Regional Rate boxes. Find more: USPS Supplies: Ordering Details (FREE)

  • Avatar
    Howie Michaels

    I want to ship 3 bottles of Scotch Whiskey to Poland, from the U.S.
    Can I do this? What is the preferred method to use?
    No, I am not a business, and the recipient can either be addressed at a residential location, or his business location.

     

    Any advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    Edited by Howie Michaels
  • Avatar
    Melody H. [ShippingEasy]

    Hi Howie,

    You should be able to ship alcohol via UPS or FedEx provided you follow each carriers' guidelines regarding these types of shipments.  I would recommend contacting UPS and/or FedEx directly to confirm and get more information.  Their contact pages are linked below:

    https://www.ups.com/content/us/en/contact/index.html

    http://www.fedex.com/us/office/customersupport/

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