Wine Shipping – UPS vs USPS vs FedEx


Whether you are thinking about starting up a beer or wine making business or just want to send a gift of a bottle of wine to a friend, you will need to know the rules or regulations of sending alcohol. Of course, it is best to find out ahead of time what is allowed and anything you may need to prepare for before sending domestically.

For international sending, the rules would depend on the destination country as well. Here is everything you will need to know before sending wine with USPS, UPS and FedEx.

WooCommerce Shipping Services-1

UPS Wine Shipping

You are able to ship liquor through UPS as long as you are licensed to ship spirits and are approved by UPS. Anyone wanting to ship spirits must provide any required state licenses to UPS and enter into a “UPS Agreement for Approved Spirits Shippers”. For beer, UPS shipping provides services to a limited number of states and they must be licensed to ship beer. Along with being licensed the shipper must also enter into a “UPS Agreement for Approved Beer Shippers”. You are also able to ship wine as long as you are licensed to ship wine and must also enter into a “UPS Agreement for Approved Wine Sellers”. So any licensed seller is able to ship to approved states but the average person cannot just send any type of alcohol.

USPS Wine Shipping

As the official mail delivery courier in the United States, beer, wine and any type of liquor that is 0.5% or more is prohibited from being sent through USPS shipping by Federal law. The only exceptions are cold remedies, cooking wine and mouthwash as long as they conform to the requirements of the IRS and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Also, liquor that is being sent between employees of federal or state agencies has to be sent for official use such as for testing purposes. The reason wine is prohibited to be sent via USPS  is to prevent wine from being sent to prohibited areas and to make sure that all the proper taxes are paid.

FedEx Wine Shipping

As with UPS, FedEx will only ship wine for FedEx approved, licensed business shippers who have entered into a “FedEx Alcohol Shipping Agreement”. A regular customer is not allowed to send any type of alcohol with FedEx. As long as the shipper is fully licensed they can ship by FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery to a licensee or a consumer. The shipper does have to designate if the shipment is intended for a licensee or consumer before sending. In order for the shipment to be taken by FedEx, it must comply with all FedEx requirements along with federal, state, and local laws. The recipient also has to be 21 years old or older and must show an acceptable form of ID and not show any signs of intoxication in order to receive the shipment at the destination of the package. 

If your eCommerce business has all the applicable licensing you need, you are able to ship with either UPS or FedEx. Either will be able to provide you with any extra information regarding states you will be approved to send to and whether your business has everything required to have its shipments delivered successfully. 

Wine Shipping – Do’s & Don’ts

If you own an eCommerce business that deals with the shipment of wine, there are some useful things you can keep in mind to ensure your business runs smoothly and is set up for success.

  • Ship wine in the center of the shipping box and well packed and away from the sides of the box. Make sure the box is sturdy enough to hold multiple heave bottles if needed. If packages need to be chilled, use gel packs and make sure they are individually packaged and do not touch the bottles.
  • Clearly label the box as containing wine. 
  • Shipping within the originating State of your business is easier as you don’t need to comply with the laws of other States – only your own. You must also seek out any local laws of the destination of your alcohol as well as follow the laws of your State. If your eCommerce business remains within one urban centre (large cities can still be a huge market for you), be sure to be as familiar as possible with any processes. Or possibly handle the delivery of your packages yourself.

Why is PluginHive the best integrated shipping solution for your wine business?

Shipping with PluginHive provides your business with everything you need to streamline your business from the checkout process until parcels reach their final destination. PluginHive’s Shopify shipping app and WooCommerce shipping plugin provides you and your customers with multiple options – so they can choose the one that works best for them and you can maximize your own savings through discounts and more. 

If you own an eCommerce store that sells wine, it’s important to utilize the shipping carriers that will meet your needs but also ensure your products make it to your customers quickly, safely, and at as low of a cost as possible. PluginHive integrates into your Shopify, WooCommerce, and other chosen eCommerce platform to provide you with the services you need to scale your business. These include instant price and delivery time comparisons for multiple shipping carriers before completion, constant tracking for both you and your customers, quick and automatic label generation. 

If there’s a customized or unique requirement you need to successfully ship, the PluginHive team is here to help. Reach out for a conversation with a member of the our customer support team today.

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