Shipping alcohol can be quite a task. You have to consider the applicable laws, regulations, and methods of delivery before shipping alcohol. Also, you have to consider insurance since alcohol containers are prone to damage and breakage.
Of course, you can resolve many of these issues if you rely on a carrier like Unival Logistics. Still, you want to cover your company legally before sending out any alcohol shipment. If your company depends on shipping alcohol or selling directly to consumers, you should learn how to ship alcohol first.
How to Ship Alcohol
There are a few key areas to focus on when you ship alcohol. First, you want to ascertain where you want to deliver the shipment. Then, you want to determine whether you are shipping directly to consumers or through a shipment company.
Finally, you have to know the laws of the state in which you ship the alcohol. Depending on these factors, you can choose the best way to ship the goods. Usually, you look at the state laws first to see if the state prohibits alcohol shipping.
Then, you look at your business model to align it with a method of delivery. After that, you find a suitable delivery method and send the shipment. That is all there is to alcohol shipping, in theory. But, you want to learn more about the specific aspects of shipping.
Three Types of Alcohol Shipping
There are three types of alcohol shipping. These are in-state shipping, out-of-state shipping, and international shipping. As the name implies, they refer to shipping inside a state, between states, and to another country.
Depending on the way your company does business, you use one of these shipping types. However, you have to consider laws and regulations for both the state and those that apply to your business. When you understand these factors, you can choose the perfect type of shipping for your company.
In-State Alcohol Shipping
In-state alcohol shipping includes the shipping of goods that takes place within the borders of a specific state. Most states allow in-state alcohol shipping. However, some states restrict the ability of shipping through different regulations.
Even with those limitations, most of the time, you can ship alcohol within a state. Of course, always check for restrictions and potential problems when selling to both businesses and consumers.
Out-of-State Alcohol Shipping
Out-of-state alcohol shipping includes the shipping of goods that takes place between two states. It is an excellent solution if you want to sell to consumers out of your regular reach. Even if you have an online store, you can send it to customers through carriers.
The problem with out-of-state alcohol shipping is that you have to comply with the regulations, laws, and policies of both states before shipping. You can’t ship anything in a state where they prohibit alcohol shipping, even if the state of origin allows it. So, this type of shipping requires more preparation to make the delivery of your shipment on time.
International Alcohol Shipping
International alcohol shipping is shipping to any country outside the country of your location. It is the most complex type of shipping, as it always includes the use of carriers and dealing with international trade laws.
The issue with this type of shipping is that third-party carriers are almost always necessary. Companies rarely manage to keep the whole delivery process in-house when they ship to another country. While it is possible, it’s highly unlikely. Your whole shipping situation now depends on the regulations and laws for alcohol shipping in both countries.
Regulations to Consider When Shipping Alcohol
Specific carriers have regulations that you need to follow when using their services. Of course, laws apply to both you and your carrier of choice. Laws affect the totality of the market, while regulations are often determined by the company that ships the goods.
There are states where you can ship alcohol. However, that state may have regulations stating you can’t ship direct-to-consumer. Thus, you have to find a way to comply with state regulations and hire a carrier for shipping.
Direct-to-consumer means that your company is shipping to the consumer without any service in the middle. It is a safe way of delivering and gives you control over the process. You cover everything from communication, packaging, shipping, and delivery. Also, you get a chance to build a better connection with your customers.
Most of the time, you ship alcohol through carriers. Carriers already follow all regulations and laws and are ready for delivering your shipment. However, carriers also have policies they expect you to follow.
These often refer to the documents you have to sign and how to prepare your package. Also, carriers require you to show you have the necessary licenses for manufacturing and shipping alcohol. You can find more about specific regulations by contacting a carrier. All that is left is to comply with the laws of your state.
Laws to Consider When Shipping Alcohol
Finally, there are laws to consider before you ship alcohol. In the U.S., there are three types of states when it comes to alcohol shipping. Some states prohibit shipping, some states allow shipping, and there are states that only allow the on-site purchase of alcohol.
States That Prohibit Shipping Alcohol
States that prohibit the shipping of alcohol are Alabama, Utah, and Mississippi. The slight exception to the prohibition is Alabama, where you may ship alcohol through the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
States That Allow On-Site Purchase of Alcohol
In this category, you can ship alcohol but with restrictions. That means that a consumer has to go to a physical store to buy the alcohol and then it can be shipped to their address. The states in this category are Kentucky, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Arkansas.
States That Allow Shipping Alcohol
All other states allow the free shipping of alcohol. Of course, there are some restrictions when it comes to the regulations in each state, but they are mostly very lax. Also, you want to check with the carriers about their policies before shipping.
Get Insurance for Your Shipment
Another thing you want to check out is the insurance coverage for alcohol shipments. Some carriers outright refuse to ship alcohol, which may be a problem for your business. If they do offer to ship your alcohol, check if they offer insurance.
The glass bottle is the primary way to package alcohol. As it’s prone to breakage, getting insurance on it before shipping may be a wise move. With that, you are ready for your shipment.
Shipping of alcohol requires an understanding of the applicable laws and regulations. After the initial shipment, everything becomes much easier. You can rely on the carrier to do most of the preparation, but you should still do your part. Then, customers all over the county may enjoy your drink.