USPS May Reverse Ban on Alcohol

usps-logo-300x182It appears that the United States Postal Service is considering reversing its ban on shipping alcoholic beverages.  The Associated Press reported an interview with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe yesterday in which the Postmaster General claimed that the delivery of alcoholic beverages is on his “wish list” to add to the USPS’s services.

Donahoe’s rationale for adding alcoholic beverages to the USPS’s shipping services was the hope of reclaiming up to potentially fifty million dollar a year to help recover the sixteen billion dollars lost last year.

While the mailing of alcoholic beverages by the USPS is currently restricted by law Donahoe is urging changing the law to allow shipping beer, wine, and spirits.

Donahoe also supports trimming down letter delivery days to only weekdays and phasing out door-to-door deliveries over the next ten years.

Last year the Senate passed a postal reform bill that included language that would have allowed shipments of alcoholic beverages.  This provision required that the shipping of such items needed to comply with state laws for both the jurisdictions of the sender and the receiver and would require the recipient to provide valid proof of being at least 21 years of age.

The USPS has noticed a steady decline in blue box letters has dropped to almost sixty percent while their package service has grown considerably recently.  In order to accommodate their budget shortfalls the USPS is re-evaluating their priorities to focus on more of package deliveries and not letter services.

While almost all politics are motivated by economics it is nice to see that one upside to a floundering USPS is potentially the ability to ship alcoholic beverages.  While it is sensible that the proposed legislation requires that state law’s for both sender and receiver be met it is still frustrating for those who live in a state that forbids the shipment of beer.  (Though for some reason not wine.)

This would open up another venue of cheap shipping to any address in America (providing it follows state law) and may encourage many state legislature to reconsider their own bans on the sending and receiving of alcohol by they populations.

This is one step closer to alcohol, regardless of species to be considered equal to non-alcoholic beverages.

I agree with the Postmaster General that people want to ship wine home when visiting a vineyard or similarly ship beer or liquor home when visiting a brewery or distillery.  Why should we be denied the ability to easily, safely, and cheaply do so?  And why shouldn’t the USPS benefit from our shipping needs?  Why shouldn’t they indeed?