If you've ever wondered why you haven't been able to get your liquor delivery through the post office, you're not alone. Over the years, alcohol brands have only been able to ship their offerings through private shipping companies like UPS and FedEx (which have raked in a good amount of revenue from this) but never the USPS. That said, Congress—which has forbidden the United States Postal Service from shipping alcohol—may be open to changing that soon.
As the USPS continues to grapple with the financial effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Congress is now revisiting their initial decision to prevent the carrier from including alcohol shipping in their services offered. According to USA Today, Rep. Jackie Speier of California, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington have introduced the USPS Shipping Equity Act. This new legislation would allow the USPS to mail wine, beer, and other spirits directly from their licensed producers to those who are of legal drinking age in states that allow direct-to-consumer alcohol shipping.
So why is this a game-changer for the USPS now? Simply put, more and more Americans are taking advantage of getting their household items delivered directly to them. Overall, there are currently 47 states that allow shipments of wine, with 10 of those (plus Washington, D.C.) also allowing the shipping of spirits. But the ongoing pandemic has resulted in a rise in at-home bars, and six additional states have now allowed for temporary in-state shipping from distillers to consumers.
Ultimately, the decision for Congress to reverse the ban of alcohol shipping could not only increase the revenue of the USPS (by a projected $180 million, according to The Distilled Spirits Council), but it may also do so for retailers. It would also provide consumers another way to access their favorite spirit brands.
Don't think it will be happening any time soon though. If the bill is passed, it will require a two-year waiting period prior to it being implemented. Even with the wait, this will be a huge step in the right direction.
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