How to Ship Alcohol
Preparing a shipment of alcoholic beverages requires careful preparation and research. The rules and regulations for this matter depend on the origin and destination of the shipment. To successfully make a shipment of alcohol, you must have control over the shipping environment and make sure you are in compliance with state laws and regulations.
What should I know about alcohol transport laws and regulations?
In most states, shipping alcohol directly from the manufacturer to the consumer is prohibited. Depending on the origin and destination, alcohol shipments may be reciprocal (you are allowed to send and receive), limited, or illegal. It is even a felony in some states to send or receive alcohol.
What do I need to consider when shipping alcohol?
Some types of alcoholic beverages are more difficult to transport than others. Hard liquor and beer are relatively easy to transport, as they are typically packaged in durable containers designed to protect them during transport, and are well sealed. Wine is the most difficult to transport, particularly vintage wines that are easily disturbed.
Make sure that your service provider provides adequate control over these variables:
- Temperature – Should be between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit, and temperature swings should not be more than 5 degrees. Elevated temperatures can cause drying out of wine corks and damaging oxidation.
- Light – Wine should be kept away from sunlight, which can accelerate the oxidation process.
- Humidity – Around 70 percent is ideal. This ensures that the cork does not dry out and allow air to leak into the bottle, which results in contamination.
- Vibration – This is unavoidable during transport, but should be kept to tolerable levels. Excessive vibration can cause damage to bottles and stirs up sediment, so use abundant cushioning material and allow bottles to sit for a few weeks after they arrive at their destination.