E-commerce has deeply changed the way consumers purchase wine, allowing them to choose from an almost infinite selection of labels and receive the product directly at home. For online sellers who want to ship bottles of wine, it is essential to keep in mind that there are many issues to be faced both in terms of quality and packaging type, and in terms of logistics and documentation management.

In fact, there are several precautions to ensure that the product arrives intact at its destination. E-commerce, specialized shops, but also private enology enthusiasts, must therefore invest in resistant packaging, safe and reliable materials and personalized services to prevent the product from being damaged during its transport. Furthermore,when shipping alcohol, it is fundamental to comply with government restrictions and regulations to allow the goods to travel and reach the arranged destination on time.

After all, passion for wine products knows no crisis or borders: in its latest published report, the International Organization of Vine and Wine estimates the value of wine exports worldwide at 37.6 billion euros, the highest figure ever recorded, and the bottled product represents as much as 68% of this data.Furthermore, Forbes magazine, reports a 34% growth in online alcohol sales in the period between 2021 and 2026, according to data released by the IWSRFor this reason, relying on t specialized partners, with the ability to respond promptly to companies and individuals’ needs and proposing, step by step, the most suitable solutions is crucial. Additionally, the constant increase of producers who pursue a market extension beyond national borders requires business partners who are familiar with the country's regulatory framework and have the necessary tools and skills to avoid running into unexpected costs during shipment.

The International Organization of Vine and Wine estimates the value of wine exports worldwide at €37.6 billion.

According to the IWSR, the growth of online alcohol sales stands at 34% in the period between 2021 and 2026.

How to ship bottles of wine

The trend of buying wine online for personal consumption is increasingly widespread and is expected to reach a peak by 2030: this is what Rabobank states in the "2022 Alcohol e-commerce Playbook" study, which identifies in the generational turnover led by Millennials and Gen Z, the primary driver of e-commerce growth. However, the increase in traffic volumes of fragile goods implies the need to pay particular attention to different  details:

Safe packaging. Anyone who decides to ship wine, whether it’s within the borders of their own country or abroad, must assemble  a suitable packaging using specialized techniques and materials that allow the integrity of the wine products to be preserved, not only from a physical point of view but also under the organoleptic profile. Avoiding sudden changes in temperature or exposure to light are some of the precautions that allow the product to reach its destination and meet the end user’s expectation. Packages must necessarily be airtight and, in case of multiple packages, designed to prevent the individual glass containers from hitting each other and contaminating other products in the event of breakage. Some tools such as pressed cardboard, polystyrene cellars and specific separators to be inserted between the bottles can significantly reduce the risk of breakage, thus avoiding unpleasant and costly inconveniences, both in terms of money and time. In light of the reasons listed so far, relying on specialized partners to manage the shipment of fragile goods effectively with specially designed services and specialized personnel can be a rewarding choice for companies, wine bars and individuals.

Documentation management. Shipping wine requires extensive knowledge of customs regulations and local laws, which can be complex and tend to change from one country to another, making the whole process  delicate and time-consuming. Producers, shopkeepers, e-commerce, restaurateurs or enthusiasts who want to sell online abroad and export their products to foreign countries, must be aware of all the procedures and skills required and the need to make  considerable investments, both in terms of time and money. The solution to simplify and speed up the management of customs procedures and bureaucratic operations is relying on partners who are able to offer professional and efficient solutions thanks to the know-how of a competent staff with the experience needed to monitor the process thoroughly.

Courier choice. Online buyers are not exclusively looking for advantageous offers, but direct their preferences tend to be based mainly upon the quality of the service offered and the options of customization ì. In this regard, the choice of the courier to whom to entrust the shipment of the wine bottles represents a key element, capable of influencing the perception of the service: in addition to the quality and safety of the packaging, collection and delivery times play a fundamental role , along with the ability to monitor and trace the progress of tracking and customization options. All these elements must be evaluated  constantly to offer a service that meets customers’ expectations. The possibility of taking out insurance coverage that provides for reimbursement in the event of loss or damage is equally important. For this reason, there are many companies, online shops and individuals who rely on players who, through the multi-courier formula, evaluate, depending on the case, the most suitable solution for their customers’ requests.

How to ship bottles of wine abroad

Shipping bottles of wine to foreign countries can be a very intricate operation, as it is subject to specific regulations and duties. In addition to the high standards to be observed in packaging, it is essential to get acquainted with specific laws, regulations and charges. Let us take a look at some examples.

Shipping bottles of wine towards EU and non-EU countries. Within the European Union, the free circulation of goods (including alcohol) is guaranteed; however, it is subject to excise duty and must always be accompanied by adequate documentation certifying the payment of taxes. Packages containing wine, which must be produced by certified wineries, must clearly bear the wording "alcoholic beverages" on the label and the same applies to the accompanying documentation . For European countries that are not part of the EU, it is indispensable  to learn about the customs laws and regulations and the duties required for alcohol importation.

Shipping wine to the USA. To ship bottles of wine to the United States, certain steps are essential: this is a delicate operation that requires specific knowledge and skills for which it is necessary to be in possession of the import license for spirits if the quantity exceeds 3.7854 liters, or 1 gallon. Other essential steps concern the strict compliance with the labeling legislation, which must report the organoleptic qualities of the product, the payment of customs duties and sales taxes and the provision of the wine import notification, as required by the Food and Drug Administration.

For producers, wholesalers, wine shop owners, restaurateurs and enthusiasts planning on shipping bottles of wine, adjusting to laws and regulations requires considerable investments in terms of time and knowledge. For this reason, relying on specialized partners, who are able to guarantee a  valid and punctual service can play a decisive role in the management of your business. MBE Wine is the Mail Boxes Etc. solution designed to offer a wide range of services: from the collection of bottles and samples on request to the use of specialized packaging techniques and materials to preserve the integrity of the wine products during transport, always in compliance with local regulations regarding the import of alcoholic beverages MBE Centers can also support your online sales activity by helping you manage orders and shipments automatically. Contact the MBE Center closest to you to discover the solutions tailored to your needs.

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The main aspects to take into consideration when transporting bottles of wine are suitable packaging that use specialized techniques and materials to preserve the integrity of the wine products, logistics operations and documentation required for shipping.
To choose the right packaging for shipping bottles of wine, it is necessary to use specialized techniques and materials that preserve the integrity of the wine products. Packs must be airtight and multiple packs must be designed to prevent individual glass containers from touching each other or contaminating other products in the event of breakage, preventing liquid from escaping.
Sending alcohol is subject to government restrictions and regulations which can change by country of destination. It is important to learn about the regulatory framework of the country and comply with it to avoid unexpected costs or delivery delays.
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