Ship Alcohol With Ups: Complete Guide

Ship alcohol with UPS hassle-free using this complete guide. Learn the ins and outs of shipping alcoholic beverages with UPS, including regulations, packaging tips, permits, and licenses.

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Understanding the Legalities of Shipping Alcohol

Shipping alcohol can be complex due to various legal regulations and safety concerns. Here are a few policies to understand:

1. Federal Regulations

Before shipping alcohol, it is crucial to be aware of the federal regulations governing its transportation. 

Compliance with TTB guidelines is essential to avoid any legal repercussions.

2. State Laws

In addition to federal regulations, each state has its own laws regarding shipping alcohol. 

It is vital to research and understand the specific rules of both the origin and destination states to ensure legal compliance throughout the shipping process.

3. UPS Policies

UPS has its own set of policies for shipping alcohol. Familiarize yourself with their terms and conditions to avoid any violations or delays in the delivery of your package.

Labeling and Documentation

When shipping alcohol with UPS, proper labeling and documentation are crucial for a successful shipment.

Shipping Labels

UPS requires special shipping labels that clearly indicate the presence of alcohol in the package. These labels help UPS personnel handle the package with care and inform the recipient of the contents. 

To comply with UPS regulations, make sure to affix the alcohol-specific shipping label prominently on the package.

It’s essential to use strong adhesives and ensure that the label is not easily damaged or removed during transit. 

Additionally, avoid placing other labels or covering the alcohol-specific label to prevent confusion during handling.

Packaging Requirements to Ship Alcohol with UPS

When preparing your shipment, follow these essential packaging requirements for shipping alcohol with UPS:

1. Use Sturdy and Secure Boxes: Select sturdy corrugated boxes that can withstand the rigors of transportation. Reinforce the corners with packaging tape to ensure the box’s structural integrity.

2. Cushioning Material: Fill the gaps inside the box with ample cushioning material like bubble wrap or foam peanuts to protect the bottles from impact and prevent movement.

3. Individual Bottle Protection: If shipping multiple bottles, wrap each bottle separately in bubble wrap to provide extra protection against potential breakage.

4. Leak-Proof Seals: Ensure that each bottle is sealed correctly and equipped with leak-proof caps or closures to prevent any spills during transit.

5. Use Dividers: For bulk shipments, consider using dividers to keep the bottles securely separated and avoid direct contact, reducing the risk of breakage.

6. Packaging Tape: Seal all edges and seams of the box with high-quality packaging tape to prevent accidental openings.

7. Double Box for Fragile Bottles: For incredibly delicate or valuable bottles, consider using a double-boxing technique for added protection.

Special Permits and Licenses

UPS strictly adheres to local, state, and federal regulations concerning alcohol transportation, so it’s essential to have the required documents in place before proceeding with the shipment.

Types of Special Permits and Licenses

Here are the types of special permits and licenses:

1. Alcohol Carrier License: Some states require carriers who transport alcohol to have specific licenses. Ensure you have the necessary carrier licenses if your shipment crosses state lines.

2. Retailer License: If you are shipping alcohol for commercial purposes as a retailer, you’ll need the appropriate retailer license.

3. Importer/Exporter License: For international alcohol shipments, you may need an importer or exporter license, depending on the destination country’s regulations.

4. Tax and Fee Permits: Certain states have taxes and fees associated with alcohol shipments. Acquire the relevant tax permits to comply with legal requirements.

Obtaining Special Permits and Licenses

The process of obtaining special permits and licenses can vary based on your location and the type of alcohol you are shipping. 

It is advisable to consult with legal experts or regulatory agencies to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements.

Choosing the Right UPS Service for Shipping Alcohol

Choosing the Right UPS Service for Shipping Alcohol

Selecting the appropriate UPS service is crucial to ensure timely and efficient delivery of alcohol. Consider factors such as delivery speed and destination when making your decision.

1. UPS Ground: Cost-Effective and Reliable

UPS Ground is an ideal option for shipping alcohol within the same country. It’s a cost-effective solution that provides reliable service with estimated delivery times based on the distance between the origin and destination. 

This service is suitable for non-urgent shipments, making it perfect for businesses that don’t require expedited delivery.

With UPS Ground, you can easily track your alcohol shipment, giving you peace of mind as you monitor its progress along the way. 

Additionally, UPS provides proper packaging guidelines for shipping alcohol, ensuring that your package remains intact and secure throughout its journey.

2. UPS Next Day Air: Swift Delivery for Urgent Shipments

When time is of the essence, UPS Next Day Air is the way to go. This service offers next-business-day delivery for your alcohol shipments, making it the perfect choice for urgent orders or time-sensitive events. 

If you need your alcohol to reach its destination swiftly and reliably, this service ensures your package arrives on the very next business day.

UPS Next Day Air is available for both domestic and international shipments, allowing you to send alcohol anywhere in the world with expedited delivery. 

However, keep in mind that expedited services typically come with higher costs, so it’s crucial to assess whether the urgency justifies the expense.

3. UPS 2nd Day Air: A Balance Between Speed and Cost

For those seeking a balance between shipping speed and cost-effectiveness, UPS 2nd Day Air offers an excellent solution. 

Whether you’re sending alcohol to a nearby state or across the country, UPS 2nd Day Air ensures your package arrives promptly, giving you the flexibility to plan your shipments more effectively.

UPS Prohibited and Restricted Items 

Not all types of alcohol can be shipped through UPS, and there are limitations on the quantities allowed. 

Familiarize yourself with the permitted types and quantities of alcohol to avoid any issues during shipping.

1. Permitted Types of Alcohol

Certain types of alcohol, such as beer and wine, are generally allowed for shipping. However, shipping spirits or high-proof alcohol may have stricter regulations.

2. Restricted Quantities

UPS may restrict the maximum volume of alcohol that can be shipped in a single package. Ensure your shipment falls within the permissible limits.

Insurance and Liability Coverage

When shipping alcohol, consider obtaining insurance coverage to protect your package from loss or damage during transit. UPS offers various insurance options for added peace of mind.

International Shipping of Alcohol with UPS

International Shipping of Alcohol with UPS

Shipping alcohol internationally requires additional considerations due to customs regulations and import/export restrictions.

1. Customs Regulations

Each country has its own customs regulations for alcohol shipments. Ensure compliance with the customs requirements of both the origin and destination countries.

2. Import/Export Restrictions

Some countries have restrictions on importing or exporting alcohol. Research the regulations of the involved countries to avoid any legal issues.

Tips for Safe and Secure Shipping

Ensure the safe delivery of your alcohol shipment by following these tips:

1. Proper Packaging

The first step to ensuring the safe delivery of your alcohol shipment is proper packaging. No matter how carefully a package is handled during transit, accidents can happen. 

Therefore, investing in UPS-approved materials for packaging is essential to protect your bottles from breakage. 

Use sturdy cardboard boxes and secure them with strong packaging tape to prevent any leakage or damage. Consider using bubble wrap or foam inserts to provide extra cushioning and protection for the bottles. 

By following these packaging guidelines, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of breakage and ensure your alcohol arrives in pristine condition.

2. Tracking and Monitoring

Once your alcohol shipment is on its way, it’s crucial to stay informed about its journey. Utilize UPS tracking services to monitor your package’s status and receive real-time updates about its current location. 

Tracking your shipment allows you to keep an eye on its progress and provides peace of mind, especially for valuable or time-sensitive deliveries. 

In case of any unexpected delays or route changes, you can take appropriate action promptly. By leveraging UPS’s tracking services, you’ll have full visibility of your package’s movement until it reaches its destination.

3. Signature Requirements

Signature confirmation is an additional layer of security when shipping alcohol. 

Requesting a recipient’s signature upon delivery ensures that the package reaches the intended person and doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. 

This step is particularly crucial for alcohol shipments, as they may be subject to age restrictions or specific legal requirements

With a signature requirement, you have documented proof of successful delivery, reducing the chances of disputes or claims. 

Prioritize this option, especially for high-value shipments or those containing alcohol gifts for special occasions.

4. Handling Returns and Refunds

Despite your best efforts, there might be instances where your alcohol shipment needs to be returned or issues arise during transit. 

Familiarize yourself with UPS’s return policies and procedures to streamline the process if such situations occur. Knowing the proper steps for returning a package and understanding the refund policies can save you time and effort. 

Keep in mind that each situation may differ, and being well-informed will help you navigate the process smoothly. By being prepared for returns and refunds, you demonstrate professionalism and customer-centricity.


Shipping alcohol with UPS requires careful consideration of legal regulations, packaging guidelines, and shipping options. If you want to send alcohol to where you want. 

Just make sure to follow the rules set by the government, like federal and state laws, and also the policies of the shipping company, UPS. This way, you can have a successful and smooth shipping process.

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