Can you mail liquids? Rules to know before you mail them

Last Updated:
April 11, 2023
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Shipping liquids requires watertight containers with strong seals, absorbent materials, and sturdy packaging. FedEx and USPS have specific rules to follow.

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Can you mail liquids? Rules to know before you mail them

If you are a new business owner that also happens to have some liquid products under your kitty and planning to send them over to the customers, then take a moment and read this blog to the very end. Unlike shipping compact solid packages, liquid shipping is complicated and comes with its own set of rules. Be it in the case of packaging or quantity, you will have to be extra careful to ensure that you don’t violate any regulations and that your products reach the customer on time.

Unfortunately, when you search for the regulations, most results assume you are planning to send over alcohol. Thus, you might not get the complete procedures and details that each carrier agency asks for when shipping any kind of liquid.

What rules does FedEx have for shipping liquids?

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while sending your liquid-containing package via FedEx.

Make sure the containers are watertight and have a strong, watertight seal on it. The seal could be made of any permissible materials (plastic, rubber cork, etc.). Now, the bottle should be taped again with an additional seal to provide extra protection.

If the bottle is fragile, then it should be individually wrapped in suitable foam materials before placing it in a box or a secondary packaging receptacle. This ensures that the fragile bottles don’t clash with each other and cause any breakage during the transportation process.

Now, the boxes should be filled with absorbent materials that can absorb all of the liquid if it were to break midway. This should be placed between the individual bottles and, as a whole, covering all of the primary bottles. You can use cellulose wadding, super absorbent packets, cotton balls, or even paper towels.

The main box, which contains the primary and secondary packaging, should be made of sturdy materials like fiber wood, approved metals, plastic, or any other material strong enough to house the weight of all the material and liquids. Once packaged, the whole package should be sturdy and strong and should withstand any rigorous handling that it might face during the shipping process.

What Rules does USPS have for shipping liquids?

Only non-inflammable and non-hazardous goods can be sent via USPS, and that too if it's tightly sealed inside a waterproof container that’s approved by the agency.

The mailer must make sure to mark if there’s liquid present inside the containers with suitable stickers and also show the orientation in which the individual primary containers are stacked inside the main one.

If the quantity of the liquid goods exceeds 4 oz, then you will have to triple-pack the goods to ensure that there’s no leakage. So this means you have to securely pack the primary container in a puffy, shock-absorbent packaging material like bubble wrap.

This will then be wrapped by absorbent materials and placed in another leak-proof container. Then this package will be placed in the priority box carton provided by USPS. Don’t forget to stick the fragile sticker onto the main package along with the other required stickers.

Packaging the liquids can be a daunting task as you have to invest in a lot of packaging materials, and all of them should be as per the standards. If not, there’s a high chance that even the insurance you took won’t cover the damage costs if the packaging reaches the recipient in a damaged state.

Final Thoughts

If you are a reseller, then make sure you don’t tamper with the original seal of the containers. This provides additional protection and will help you save some costs on the primary packaging materials.

As the packaging materials increase, the weight and size of the final carton also increase. Thus, you will have to pay the shipping charges accordingly. The trick to reducing some shipping costs would be to compactly pack the liquid items and use eco-friendly materials as shock absorbers. As there isn’t any strict enforcement on the type of material for absorbent and shock absorbent packaging, you can do it with any kind of materials that you find handy.

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Leah Reynolds

Leah Reynolds is an accomplished logistics professional and author, specializing in warehouse management and distribution operations. With hands-on experience in overseeing complex logistics networks, Leah understands the challenges faced by businesses in optimizing their warehousing and distribution processes. Leah is part of Shipixy Marketing team where she provides valuable insights into warehouse layout design, inventory control, order fulfillment, and implementing automation technologies to boost productivity and reduce costs to our audience.‍

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