Shipping Bottles for St. Patrick's Day

March 14, 2017


It’s that time of year again! The semi-official kickoff of spring and official celebration of all things Irish, St. Patrick’s Day, is upon us. In America, where a cool 31 million people claim Irish ancestry (that’s 7x the population of the actual Ireland), this day is big business with an estimated economic impact of $5.6 billion.

And whether that means you celebrate by listening to Irish music, making a corned beef and cabbage dinner or simply drinking as much green-colored beer as you can stomach, everyone is a little happier on St. Patrick’s Day.

That includes the carriers, packers and logistics experts who had to deliver Irish beer around the country in time for the festivities. After all, about 13 million pints of Guinness is served every St. Patrick’s Day — twice the average global daily amount.

So how do bottles of Guinness, Smithwicks, Magners and more make their way from the Emerald Isle to New York City (home of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade) and Hot Springs, Arkansas (home of the smallest St. Patrick’s Day parade)? The answer is carefully.

Of the three main couriers (USPS, FedEx and UPS) only two allow shipments of alcohol. The U.S. Postal service won’t deliver it. In fact, if you reuse an old box that has alcohol labeling visible it may be denied shipment regardless of its contents.

FedEx and UPS, however, will happily deliver your ABV shipments assuming you follow their instructions. Both companies require the shipper to have an account, sign an alcohol shipping agreement, clearly label the item as having alcohol and have an adult sign for the package upon delivery— but there are a few differences.


UPS’s Proper Packaging Guidelines for Shipping Alcohol

• Inner packaging of molded Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam, folded corrugated tray or molded fiber tray.

• Each packaging component secures the bottles into the center of the shipping container away from the side walls of the shipper.

• Use of sturdy outer corrugated containers.


FedEx’s Proper Packaging Guidelines for Shipping Alcohol

• Packaging that ensures your alcoholic shipment is secure.

• Completely covered in something soft to prevent glass breakage.

• Can absorb liquid if the bottle happens to break.


So whether you’re shipping bottles of booze for a St. Paddy’s celebration (or any other fragile package) be sure your package is safely secured and up to the standards of the couriers. And if you want to make an impact on the customer with innovative packaging, contact Ernest Packaging Solutions today. We can craft a custom designed packaging solution that will make your competition green with envy.