USPS to Consider Shipping Alcohol

ALBERT LEA, MN — It is not uncommon for someone to give a bottle of wine or hard liquor as a gift.

“We gift wrap at the counter for anybody that wishes to do that. It’s a normal occurrence every day,” said Jeremy Kallberg of Cheers Liquor.

Every once in a while, those like Kallberg who work at liquor stores get asked if they can ship a bottle of alcohol to a friend or relative.

“We’re not allowed to ship products for anybody through the mail or anything like that. It’s a random question that I get quite a bit,” Kallberg said.

It is not company policy that is keeping them from doing that; it is the law.

“Right now, no alcohol whatsoever can be shipped through the post office. I mean even if they bring a box that has anything that says beer on it, wine on it, that has to be covered up completely,” said Albert Lea Postmaster, John Novotny.

If the postmaster general has his way, USPS vehicles could soon be transporting more than your typical mail. He would like to add alcohol to the picture.

That is the latest idea from a postmaster general heading up a company that lost $16 billion last year. He said delivering alcohol could raise as much as $50 million a year for the company.

“Sending wine through the mail would probably be a good thing. A lot of people send that for wedding gifts, anniversaries, where we never used to be able to do that. I think it would add to our business quite a bit,” Novotny said.

The new business plan says the recipient of the package containing alcohol would have to be at least 21-years-old and must present a valid, government-issued photo I.D.

If that is the case, then Kallberg is on board.

“I hope they go through with it. It would help business here, along with any other store in town or anywhere else,” Kallberg said.

If things move forward, then USPS would also look into adding special boxes that would hold two, four or six bottles and ship for a flat-rate anywhere in the country.

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