wine moving

Moving Tips

How To Ship Your Wine Collection

Often times people don’t think about how they’re going to move their wine collection until they find out that their movers either will not move the collection, or they realize that moving a wine collection along with their personal items is risky. A moving truck will often reach temperatures well above 100 degrees as there is no ventilation or air-conditioning inside a moving truck.

Below are some helpful things to consider when moving your wine collection. Click on the Request a Quote link and we will be happy to answer any questions you have.

1. Inventory Your Collection

Keep your own list of the bottles in your collection. You can download a Wine Inventory Sheet to use if you do not have one. You can also use the web site CellarTracker to keep an online inventory of your collection.

2. Choose Boxes

There are four primary types of boxes. The box use depends on how you are transporting your collection.

Styrofoam Shipper
Used when shipping via overnight air delivery or cargo via commercial airlines. These boxes are durable and provide a small layer of insulation to protect the wine from temperature fluctuations (note they are not insulated, though). Their large size makes them less ideal for transporting on pallets in refrigerated trucks.

Double Wall
The preferred box for shipping in a refrigerated truck. The double walled construction and uniform size make these boxes ideal for transporting on pallets.

Original Wood Crate (OWC)
Many top end wines come in wood crates. These crates are extremely durable and are fine for shipping in a refrigerated truck but cannot be used when shipping via overnight air delivery or air cargo.

Retail Boxes
Retail wine boxes are not designed to be used as shippers. They are typically single wall construction and become very weak quickly (they are designed to get wine from producer to retailer then discarded). We do not suggest shipping your wine in retail boxes as there is no consistent size and therefore once on a pallet, the boxes overlap with each other causing strain on the box which could lead to damaged bottles. In addition, retail boxes cannot be used to ship via overnight air delivery or air cargo.

3. Investigate Carriers

Not all carriers are qualified to transport wine. Your collection should be handled with the same care as any other refrigerated perishable food item. Shipping wine is unique though as the proper temperature for wine is 55 degrees whereas normal refrigerated food, such as milk and eggs, are transported at 40 degrees. Be sure the carrier you use treats your precious wine cargo with the utmost care and maintains 55 degrees and not 40 degrees.

A special note on using FedEx or UPS. Neither FedEx nor UPS will knowingly ship wine, unless you have a special license from them. Even if it is your own personal collection and you are shipping to and from your personal residence.

Click here for the UPS policy.
Click here for the FedEx policy.

4. Insurance Coverage

Determine the value of your collection and ask the carrier about providing insurance beyond the minimal liability coverage for your wine collection.

5. Check With Your State

Some states have restrictions on the amount of alcohol you are allowed to bring into the state. Chances are you will not have a problem unless you are bringing hundreds of cases into a state. Click here for links to the various Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Boards.

FAQs on Shipping Your Wine Collection

Moving can be a stressful process, most moving companies do not transport wine since it is perishable and moving trucks can get intensely hot during transport. It is best to leave the transportation of your wine to a professional wine transportation company.

Should I ship my wine in the summer?

Will shipping my wine with the bottles upright dry out the corks?

What is the benefit of using styrofoam shippers instead of cardboard?

Why shouldn’t I ship my wine with my furniture?

Why does it take longer for my wine to arrive than my furniture?

How do I ensure my wine is properly temperature controlled while in transit?

I only have a few bottles, can I pack them in my suitcase and take them on the plane?

Can I overnight my wine using FedEx or UPS?

The move was flawless

Keith H. San Francisco Bay Area Wine Collector

I recently relocated from Florida to California. I had my 4000 bottle collection stored in three different storage facilities. My inventory was not current. I contracted with The Wine Mover to give me a proposal. They were very responsive and thorough in preparing the proposal. I developed a high degree of confidence in that process and contracted with them for the move. The move itself was flawless. They did precisely what they were hired to do, on time, and at the price agreed. The bottles all arrived in perfect condition. Should I relocate my collection again, I would certainly use The Wine Mover.