The shipping giant is expanding the list of countries that can send and receive alcohol.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated: May 13, 2019
Bloomberg / Getty Images

If you’ve ever tried to have wine shipped, you’ve probably encountered just how surprisingly complicated it can be. As Americans are well aware, the laws regulating alcohol can be extremely intricate and, as a result, finding a company willing to get booze between point A and point B is far more complex than dropping by the post office. (Don’t bother. The USPS won’t let you ship alcohol at all. In fact, your package can even be denied if the box has any alcohol branding on it.)

Seeing an opportunity to fill this void, UPS announced this week that the company will be expanding its ability to ship wine, beer and spirits around the globe, including allowing wine lovers to have cases shipped directly to their home. “UPS is helping wineries reach consumers living in 24 of the top 35 wine importing countries, and distilleries in 9 of the top 25 spirit importing countries,” UPS wrote in a press release. “Depending on the destination, orders can arrive at the business or consumer’s home within 3 days.” UPS also cites an interesting statistic that 43 percent of all wine is consumed in a country other than where it’s produced.

Overall, UPS said it will now ship to 23 countries in Europe, 11 countries throughout Asia Pacific (China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and, for businesses, Malaysia), Mexico, Argentina and the Dominican Republic. UPS also now ships to five Canadian provinces – Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec – which it says covers 95 percent of all Canadian alcohol imports. (Come on, Nova Scotia! Step up your wine importing game!) For the record, not just anyone can ship booze around the globe. Shippers must be licensed and enter into a contract with UPS.

By comparison, UPS’s primary US competitor, FedEx, also ships wine to over 30 countries around the globe, including many of the countries included in UPS’s list. However, some interesting discrepancies do exist. For instance, FedEx doesn’t ship wine to Mexico. Meanwhile, unlike FedEx, UPS is still neglecting South Africa, a major wine producer in its own right.