Anyone who has purchased alcoholic beverages requiring shipping by vendors knows what a hassle it sometimes can be. Only private companies are allowed to handle such items.
In an effort to remedy that situation, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) today announced a proposal to end restrictions on shipping beer, wine, and spirits via the U.S. Postal Service which presently is prohibited from handling such merchandise.
The USPS has proposed a flat shipping rate that would not take account of weight and distance into the cost and would drive down the cost of shipping which would benefit consumers and producers, according to Schumer who said additional income is much needed by the struggling mail and package service.
The proposal is supported by state wineries and breweries, postal worker unions, and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, said Schumer, noting that private shipping companies use variable shipping rates that include weight and distance into the cost.
“It’ll help keep local post offices open by bringing in an estimated $225 million in new revenues to the USPS, and it will be a new way for consumers far and wide to order their favorite beers and wines,” Schumer said in a conference call.
However, Schumer's proposal certainly is not a cure-all for all the annoying restrictions. For example, it would apply only to federally licensed breweries and wineries, it would not allow private residents to ship alcohol to other residents, and the shipment of alcohol would require the signature of a person over the age of 21 upon delivery. In other words, the same "howevers" already used by private shippers such as FedEx and UPS.