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View Full Version : Shipping bourbon...UPS or FedEx?



RyanL
05-21-2012, 11:58
I recently moved across the country and left most of my bunker at my mom's house. I was going to have her send me some and have never mailed any before as I had no need. I was wondering which company was better in terms of not hassling her about what is in it? If she tells them there isn't alcohol in it can they open it anyway? What should she say is in there as it will be obvious it is liquid of some sort in roughly wine sized bottles?

smokinjoe
05-21-2012, 12:10
Hey Ryan. I've had great success with The UPS Store. The owner there has never said a word on anything, nor asked any type of question. But, I think it may just be a "depends on the store" type of thing. Though, I've sent bottles from out of town UPS Stores to me here in ATL without incident, too.

Maybe, have her send you some other things from the store, in order to build up a "relationship". Then, when she starts runnin' your whiskey out, they won't think twice.

One other thing, it's bad form to have your Mom lie in order for you to get your booze. :D

Brisko
05-21-2012, 12:16
What should she say is in there as it will be obvious it is liquid of some sort in roughly wine sized bottles?



Artisan olive oil
Vintage lava lamps
Artisan vinegar
Hand pressed apple ciderIf you put the words "artisan" or "vintage" in there, it helps justify a higher insured value, too.


/the first two suggestions aren't original with me, they came from another member here.

B1bomber
05-21-2012, 13:16
My local UPS store has boxes specifically designed for items the exact size and shape of a wine bottle, which often also means liquor bottle. A tall box with styrofoam liner neatly cut to a bottle's shape. They sell them for single bottles and also 3 bottle sets. Curious, perhaps, in that it's not legal to ship such contents. But as my local UPS guy told me with a wink, "we don't look inside and check the contents."

dridge11
05-21-2012, 14:27
Create the label online, drop at Staples and tell them it's already labelled and you're just dropping it off. They will usually just say "great, just set it on the counter over there".



......I heard

Tico
05-21-2012, 14:51
Create the label online, drop at Staples and tell them it's already labelled and you're just dropping it off. They will usually just say "great, just set it on the counter over there".



......I heard

This!

It takes all of two minutes to set up a UPS account and print a label from at home. Then just drop it with a driver or at the UPS Store, very easy!

LikeItWasSodaPop
05-21-2012, 14:54
Fed Ex is the way to go. I still don't know what is illegal about mailing booze -- places like Party Source ship via FedEx, and my most recent shipment actually had a big yellow sticker boldly proclaiming "CONTAINS ALCOHOL" to anyone who can read -- but both on the shipping and receiving end, I have had nothing but good experience shipping by Fed Ex. And surprisingly, ground shipping for short distances is often faster than their more expensive options and they've been happy to tell me so.

luther.r
05-21-2012, 15:02
From my experience working at a mail order company for 13 years, UPS is far more abusive to their boxes. So if it's something fragile I always use FedEx.

dridge11
05-21-2012, 15:42
From my experience working at a mail order company for 13 years, UPS is far more abusive to their boxes. So if it's something fragile I always use FedEx.

For what it's worth, I ship wine for a living (very expensive wine in a lot of cases) and have used UPS exclusively. Granted we have special styros to prevent breakage but we've had VERY few claims for damaged/broken bottles.

fishnbowljoe
05-21-2012, 17:44
Just remember, shipping spirits/alcohol without a licenses is illegal. That being said, (:grin: ) if it was up to me, I'd use UPS from a place I know wouldn't ask any questions. :rolleyes: Put labels on boxes designating something other than spirits/alcohol. I'd also use labels designating "Fragile Glass", and labels with arrows designating "This Side Up." I just happened to find a site you can print those very labels from. http://www.samplewords.com/ Might have to search a bit.

FWIW, I work for a company where I'm sometimes required to ship packages out. I'm not bragging, (really I am) but I know how to pack things in order to minimize damage. I'd use extra cardboard or double wall boxes, cardboard separators, styrofoam, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, foam pieces/foam wrap, etc... what ever you have, and what ever you think it takes. I's better to be safe than sorry. Also, U-Haul has styrofoam wine bottle shipping containers that might be of use to you. Like Brisko said, some of these ideas are from other sources.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Ejmharris
05-21-2012, 17:51
Fed Ex is the way to go. I still don't know what is illegal about mailing booze -- places like Party Source ship via FedEx, and my most recent shipment actually had a big yellow sticker boldly proclaiming "CONTAINS ALCOHOL" to anyone who can read -- but both on the shipping and receiving end, I have had nothing but good experience shipping by Fed Ex. And surprisingly, ground shipping for short distances is often faster than their more expensive options and they've been happy to tell me so.

TPS is able to ship alcohol because they are licensed to ship to certain states. I believe they need to go through a process of getting licensed by each state which is why they don't ship to all 50. The legality issue is one of safety, liquor is flammable. And it is controlled by a lot of states so they all want to have their say.

Both UPS and FedEx officially won't transport alcohol if you claim it as such and you are not licensed. If you want to ship it needs to be claimed as something different. Many clerks will turn a blind eye to it. Their was someone that mentioned claim it as artisanal olive oil which is fine to get it shipped, but they also mentioned it will help insure it. Insuring it is a waste, if it breaks and it is alcohol and not olive oil they will not cover the claim, trust me on this one! Technically they could also come after you for Illegal interstate transport of alcohol as well. Pretty sure that is very low on their priority list though.

After saying all that, "from what I have heard" if you want to ship more than one bottle you will need to mask the "glug" sound. That can be done with foam, bubble wrap and putting something in a disposable Tupperware container (I know of someone who got dog food). Then tell the clerk it is organic dog food for some high maintenance pet owner. Make sure the goods are packaged well so breakage isn't a problem. It is not possible to over pack.

StraightBoston
05-21-2012, 18:10
I've heard that a few dry beans in the box mask the "glug" and could be credibly explained as pieces of a puzzle for a child of the recipient...

Young Blacksmith
05-21-2012, 19:08
Bagging the contents also help deter leakage. My business regularly uses heavy bags and vermiculite to absorb any spilled liquids. I don't go so far for personal shipments, such as collectable cologne bottles, but I do bag all items in at least trash bags.

Alcohol is a flammable liquid, which could get you in trouble with hazardous shipments not being declared as such.

tommyj1986
05-21-2012, 19:31
I recently looked up hazmat rules for fedex, and what I gathered was for American DOT hazmat is that as long an alcohol is below 150 proof and in smaller than 5 liter container no speciality hazmat had to be declared.

As far as why it is illegal for personal people to ship is because of licensing and taxes, if I buy whiskey in my state that isn't registered for sale in another state, that state isn't receiving it's licensing fee or excise tax from the sale. Each state has different laws regulating whether or not certain types of businesses can ship into the state, some of these laws are setup to protect the local producers, but more often the laws are setup to protect the distributors. Distributors are the ones with all the lobbying power.

trumpstylz
05-21-2012, 20:37
I've shipped with both carriers, and it really just varies location to location.

One difference I have noticed- some UPS stores ask me what I am shipping. Fedex has not done this.

However, It really depends what service you are using. UPS has built themselves up on their ground shipping and fedex their air service (next day and 2 day). It honestly doesn't make much difference.

p_elliott
05-22-2012, 08:45
Artisan olive oil
Vintage lava lamps
Artisan vinegar
Hand pressed apple ciderIf you put the words "artisan" or "vintage" in there, it helps justify a higher insured value, too.


/the first two suggestions aren't original with me, they came from another member here.

Insurance is no good if it breaks they will know it's bourbon and they ain't going to pay nothing.

p_elliott
05-22-2012, 08:51
Just remember, shipping spirits/alcohol without a licenses is illegal. That being said, (:grin: ) if it was up to me, I'd use UPS from a place I know wouldn't ask any questions. :rolleyes: Put labels on boxes designating something other than spirits/alcohol. I'd also use labels designating "Fragile Glass", and labels with arrows designating "This Side Up." I just happened to find a site you can print those very labels from. http://www.samplewords.com/ Might have to search a bit.

FWIW, I work for a company where I'm sometimes required to ship packages out. I'm not bragging, (really I am) but I know how to pack things in order to minimize damage. I'd use extra cardboard or double wall boxes, cardboard separators, styrofoam, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, foam pieces/foam wrap, etc... what ever you have, and what ever you think it takes. I's better to be safe than sorry. Also, U-Haul has styrofoam wine bottle shipping containers that might be of use to you. Like Brisko said, some of these ideas are from other sources.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Trust me short of them running it over with a forklift something packed by Joe is not going to break.

T Comp
05-22-2012, 09:07
Hey I'll deliver to Bardstown Kentucky twice a year... even free of charge in spite of the $4 plus a gallon gas and exorbitant Illinois tolls :grin: .

smokinjoe
05-22-2012, 09:21
Hey I'll deliver to Bardstown Kentucky twice a year... even free of charge in spite of the $4 plus a gallon gas and exorbitant Illinois tolls :grin: .

Yep, we're all part of a network of mules. :D

Shuboy
05-23-2012, 23:35
Ralfy mentioned in his miniatures video about labeling your minis as printer ink (though I've never seen people sell printer ink in mini glass bottles before). Considering Master of Malt has been offering a lot of their whiskies in sample bottles, asking them to label your package as printer ink might be helpful in getting through customs.

TomH
05-24-2012, 05:54
Only had one experience with Master of Malt, but their package made it thru customs just fine.


Ralfy mentioned in his miniatures video about labeling your minis as printer ink (though I've never seen people sell printer ink in mini glass bottles before). Considering Master of Malt has been offering a lot of their whiskies in sample bottles, asking them to label your package as printer ink might be helpful in getting through customs.

unclebunk
05-24-2012, 14:26
What do you guys think of this sort of packaging? It's a styrofoam bottle holder and outer cardboard box for about $7 each.

http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-5809/Wine-Shippers/Wine-Bottle-Shippers-1-Bottle-Pack

TomH
05-24-2012, 15:42
My concern with that packaging is that it looks like its made for a standard 750ML wine bottle. Whiskey bottles are anything but standard shape and many would not fix in the styro insert.

unclebunk
05-24-2012, 15:57
My concern with that packaging is that it looks like its made for a standard 750ML wine bottle. Whiskey bottles are anything but standard shape and many would not fix in the styro insert.

You're probably right on that, the more I look at it. I recently received a shipment that had the bottles stuck securely in styrofoam that went about 3/4 of the way up each bottle. The shipper then filled the rest of the box with shipping peanuts and everything arrived safely. I guess I just liked the idea of having the entire bottle encased in styrofoam. I wonder if the UHaul shipping kit would be better. It seems better suited for any sort of "wine-type" shaped bottle which is what I intend to ship.

http://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Boxes/Kitchen-moving-boxes/Wine-Shipping-Kits?mid=169

ILLfarmboy
05-24-2012, 16:26
Just remember, shipping spirits/alcohol without a licenses is illegal.

Yes, and I think its kind of funny not one of the "hall monitors" has condemned it.

Anyhow, I've used both FedEx and UPS and I know one of our "hall monitors" here has used USPS priority mail. I know, 'cause I was the recipient.

Anyhow, I just bubble-wrap the the dickens out of anything I ship and have had no problems with either UPS of FedEx. No one has ever asked me what I was shipping.

fishnbowljoe
05-24-2012, 16:45
Yep, we're all part of a network of mules. :D

Thank you very much sir. May I have another? :grin: Thanks again Joe.

Joe (the other one)

smokinjoe
05-24-2012, 18:20
Thank you very much sir. May I have another? :grin: Thanks again Joe.

Joe (the other one)

Hee Haw!! :D
..........

Restaurant man
05-24-2012, 21:32
Well dont send the goddam USPS. thats the united states postal service! We have been receiving mail at my business address for almost 25 years. but only selectively the last 3 months. talked to my mail carrier today who informed me that the "packages" that ive been looking for have been returned to sender as "undeliverable." Seems that the address weve been using since 1989 never exsisted in their computer system. We share a mailroom with a 20 story office building and they wanted us to use a mailing address for a street we are not even on to make their computer happy. so three weeks ago his boss told him to lug all our mail down to the mailroom and RETURN it to who sent it. he acknowledged that he knew it belonged to us but he sent it back anyway.:hot: as a direct order from his boss (who i have a meeting with tomorrow.) When i asked the postal carrier why i received some mail today at our correct address he replied "it was my fault, i mistakenly put that in your box, you should not have received that mail, if i was doing my job properly, I would have sent that mail back as well!!!" this has caused my business considerable harm and was due to humans making the informed choice NOT to deliver our mail.BTW when UPS or FED EX delivers the guy comes up to the host stand and hand delivers my packages with a smile!:cool: NUFF SAID