Packaging for Wine Shipping. What is the best? November 30, 2015 17:23

For shipping wine you start with a cardboard box that has inserts to protect bottles from breaking.

The three main options for the insert packaging are:

  1. Folded cardboard shapes to hold and cushion a bottle
  2. Paper pulp to cradle and insulate a bottle
  3. Styrofoam to cradle and insulate a bottle

For years I used the lay down paper pulp option because I hate styrofoam.  Cardboard shapes offered zero insulation.  Pulp served as a good padding material, but I questioned its level of insulation.

The reason I hate styofoam is that the environment is a big issue for me. Recently because of serious concerns with protecting wine shipments from temperature extremes I started using styrofoam (only during temperature extremes) thinking this offered the best for insulation. This was just an educated guess that styrofoam was best and I needed to verify this.

I set up a test. Paper pulp vs. styrofoam shippers. 

Styrofoam and paper pulp packages side by side.

I enclosed max/min thermometers inside each shipper type and set the shippers outside to expose them to night temperatures that dipped well below freezing.

Readings indicated that temperature inside the styrofoam shipper was significantly more stable and actually never went below freezing. Not so with the paper pulp.

Conclusion is that styofoam does offer superior insulation from temperature extremes both cold and heat. But I use it sparingly only when faced with the most extreme temperatures. Otherwise I prefer to use paper pulp padded layers. For the best conditions see P.S. below 

P.S. I choose the appropriate shipper based on temperature. My usual package is paper pulp. Even better, within California I am often able to ship full case orders in regular wine cases because temperatures are moderate and transit time it short

See my special Rhone style wines HERE 

This insert notice is for shipments requiring extra protection using styrofoam.:
ABOUT THIS WINE SHIPPER I hate Styrofoam. So only after much consideration & testing did I settle on this package.The environment and convenience are important issues for me. But my ultimate concern is the protection of your wine during transit.
The value of styrofoam is that it offers the very best insulation and padding of shipping materials available. My goal is for your precious, delicate wine to arrive in great shape by being shielded from the elements and breakage to the greatest degree possible. Cheers to taking care of good wine. Bill Frick