Wine Shipping: How to package and ship wine safely and legally in the U.S.

Shipping wine is as delicate a process as making the wine itself, whether you’re sending a friend a congratulatory bottle of Merlot or you’re part of the e-commerce industry that last year recorded $3 billion worth of consumer wine sales. Either way, there are a few important steps to consider before you start shipping bottles cross country.

Get your legal house in order: Regulations vary, but the legal requirement to obtain a license to ship wine does not. Even if you’re shipping wine to your best friend in Utah, you have to be licensed to do so. UPS does a thorough job explaining who can ship what and to where, and breaks down permissible wine shipment into five separate categories. Take a look to be sure you’re following the guidelines.

Once you understand the finer points of the who, what and where of wine shipping, consider the how and when.

When to ship wine. Extreme temperatures can affect the quality of perishable vino, so plan shipment with the weather in mind. During extreme cold or hot temperatures, ship wine early in the week to prevent the wine from sitting over the weekend in a sorting facility that may not be temperature-controlled. You can minimize possible exposure by shipping overnight, next-day or second-day. Remember, friends might be forgiving of a bad bottle of wine, but unsatisfied customers tend not to give second chances. They simply move on to the next seller.

How to ship wine. Use sturdy packaging and shipment boxes to protect bottles. Select corrugated cardboard boxes that are designed specifically for wine shipment to ensure they’re sturdy enough to withstand weight.

Shipping multiple bottles in one box can be too heavy and make the box difficult for consumers to handle. Use extra-heavy packaging tape for added reinforcement. For packaging inserts, use folded corrugated trays, molded fiber trays or an expanded polystyrene foam (EPS). Molded pulp packaging should meet ISTA standards.

MRBOXonline Offers An Easier Shipping Solution

Take the guesswork out of selecting the proper packaging material and shipment boxes by using wine shipping kits that are easy to assemble and store.

MRBOXonline worked with vineyard and wine shop owners to create ideal wine shipping kits for single bottle shipments, as well as two-, three- four- and up to a 12-bottle shipments. Talk to one of our service reps about which of the following options are right for you:

Pulp Wine Shippers: Affordable, strong, versatile and recyclable, easy to store. All shippers have repeatedly met the high standards required by FedEx, UPS, and ISTA test labs.

Foam Wine Shippers: Foam wine shippers cushion bottles in expanded polystyrene (EPS), an environmentally sensitive combination of recycled content and 90 percent air. The foam shields wine from temperature fluctuations, prevents bottles from shifting and keeps them stationary, even if the box is dropped.

Inflatable Wine Shippers: This option provides inflatable protection for wine, champagne and liquors. When traveling, pack this in a carry-on to meet airline regulations.

Call (800) 231-8806 for additional help or visit MRBOXonline to see our full line of wine shippers.

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