A 1909 law makes it illegal for alcoholic beverages to be shipped by the U.S. Postal Services. As a result, wineries, breweries and other retailers must use FedEx or UPS to ship alcohol products. With the growth of internet commerce and the financial troubles at the U.S. Postal Service, New York officials are looking at this outdated policy. Many believe New York’s wine, beer, cider and distilled spirits would benefit from the ability to ship products with the lower cost federal government carrier. Shipping costs with the private carriers like FedEx can exceed the cost of the product inside the box. This can effectively make products out of reach to internet consumers, the fastest growing market segment for some alcoholic beverage manufacturers, especially artisanal and small batch producers. The U.S. Postal Service flat rate shipping could allow affordable and predictable costs for serving this market, enabling the small producers to reach national markets rather than be limited to local distribution.
This change would strengthen the state’s small businesses, create jobs, generate tax revenues and address the financial woes of the Post Office, saving federal jobs as well. I encourage you to contact your federal representatives to support this legislation.