What “Ales” You? Shipping Beer and Alcohol Made Easy

What do the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and the Super Bowl all have in common? Besides the fact that most of them, or arguably all of them are holidays, they’re also the biggest beer-drinking and beer shipping events according to research firm Nielsen.

Those aren’t the only days people across the world are pouring themselves a cold one. People aged 21 and older in the United States are buying more than $110 billion in beer and malt-based beverages per year, according to the Beer Institute. Last year, the United States produced 189,184,843 barrels of beer and 6,490,423.81 barrels of beer were exported (according to U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, 2016). Based on beer shipping data and U.S. Census population statistics, that means adults 21 years and older consume nearly 28 gallons of beer and cider per person each year!

What we’re trying to say is…that’s a lot of beer.

So how do these barrels, bottles, and cans of beer (not to mention liquors, wine, and other alcoholic beverages) make their trek from brewery to liquor stores, corner convenience stores, tap houses, and restaurants? Let’s just say it’s an intricate task.

Beer’s Voyage

In 2015, 85 percent of all beer was domestically produced, while about 14 percent was imported from more than 100 different countries around the world, which stayed about the same overall for 2016. An interesting thing is U.S. Craft Beer production rose six percent in 2016, contributing $23.5 billion dollars to the beer market last year, according to Brewers Association.

So, a lot of people like beer. And the number of people who like beers with unique flavors brewed in smaller batches (with cool names) is growing!

Breweries, Contract Brewing Companies, Microbreweries, Brewpubs, and Regional Craft Breweries are constantly producing IPA’s, lagers, ales, and stouts in all different shapes and sizes and they need to hit the road – or rail – to be enjoyed by beer drinkers around the nation (and the world, but we’ll stick to the U.S. for this article).

How Does it Get There?

Beer shipping isn’t as simple as shipping, say, sodas for example. Shipping alcohol requires permits, bonds, lots of reporting, and more…permits. Alcohol is regulated by the individual states and not the federal government, so what would be considered following the law in Maryland doesn’t necessarily fly in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, etc. That’s where it gets tricky.

When choosing a carrier to ship your alcohol to the thirsty beer drinkers around the nation, you’ll have to take the time to make sure they have the permits and follow the state laws of every area your beers will travel through on their voyage. Or, you can work with a 3PL like Trinity Logistics who has a network of carriers that have the permits, bonds, and follow the laws– so you don’t have to break a sweat.

Less-than-truckload shipments of alcohol are common, meaning if you have one pallet or 12, you can get your beer moving to its destination on a truck with other shipments.

We know you just want people to enjoy your tasty beer, so we take care of the tricky parts for you. We have carriers in our network that meet the specific requirements set up by the states your beer needs to travel through for consistent alcohol shipments. After it’s all set up, all you have to do is let us know about your shipment, and we’ll let you know when it arrives!

Intermodal Beer Shipping

With the rise in temperature-controlled intermodal shipping, there’s better access to ship beer and alcohol long distances at a competitive price while reducing your carbon footprint.

A train moves one ton of freight about 400 miles on a single gallon of fuel, while your average truck gets about 10 miles or less to the gallon. In comparison, one intermodal train can remove 280 trucks off the road – increasing capacity, and saving money.

Partnering with a 3PL

No one likes to spend a lot of time on the phone trying to get their freight covered and at the right price, and then additional time calling multiple carriers for tracking information. Working with a 3PL can cut your time spent on covering freight significantly.

We find the right carriers for your unique shipping requirements and you can track your less-than-truckload shipments live with our free online LTL software.

You can be the proud parent, watching your precious brew depart on its journey, and then see the smiling people enjoying your beer on Instagram and Facebook – with no headaches in between.

Get a quote on your alcohol shipments!

Beer, wine, liquor- no problem.

Give us some information about your shipment on our free online form, and we’ll get back to you with a quote shortly!
Get a quote!