What kinds of food can be shipped by courier? And how to do this?

Until now, sending food by courier parcels was not so popular as most food was purchased in a grocery shop or supermarket. The situation changed dramatically after the pandemic started. It has turned out that ordering food deliveries by courier parcel is one of the safest and most convenient ways to get the products you need to live. What kinds of food can be shipped by package? How to prepare a shipment for a courier?

Food shipment in courier parcels is subject to many restrictions. However, this does not mean that food cannot be shipped – it all depends on proper packaging.

You can’t send ice cream by courier

The only exception is instant ice cream powder to be mixed with milk or water before consumption. Regular ice cream cannot be shipped. Theoretically, you could ship the ice cream in a refrigerated box placed on a pallet, but it would be risky and very expensive.

The situation is similar with regard to fresh vegetables, dairy products, raw and processed meat, and all other products considered perishable. Sending such products by courier parcel poses not only the risk of the content deterioration, but also epidemiological threats.

Nothing can leak

If you make sure that there is no leakage or spillage of food products from the package, the courier will not be interested in what you are sending. Dry products are the easiest to be shipped. You can put pasta, cereals, flour, cookies, candies and many other products with a low water content into a suitable size cardboard box and secure it with packing tape. Loose food products do not even require fillers – soft foil packaging allows for perfect use of space and filling the box without any voids.

The packaging of goods which are non-perishable but prone to damage and leakage is slightly more complicated. Oils, jams and other semi-liquid vegetable, fruit preserves, drinks and honey require careful packaging. Packaging of such goods to be shipped by courier parcel is quite a challenge, especially when you are dealing with glass containers. Shipment of a jar of fruit compote requires an appropriate polystyrene shape, carefully wrapping it in several layers of bubble wrap or even the use of polyurethane foam. Speaking tongue in cheek, you’d be better off sending dried fruit and a recipe instead of shipping compote or jam by courier. Such a solution would be much safer. And without doubt… cheaper.

When shipping food that is susceptible to damage, you have to make sure the package is properly labeled. You should also carefully check the courier’s terms of service for possible liability for the destruction of the food parcel: many couriers, including brokerage companies in particular, clearly indicate that they are not responsible for any damage to food parcels. Moreover, if there is any leakage out of your parcel, you will pay for any resulting damage.

How to ship food abroad?

When shipping food abroad, you have to check the customs and food handling regulations applicable in the given country. You can easily check with a courier company what goods you cannot ship. Of course, the need for airtight packaging is the same, and actually even more restrictive, than when sending packages with food products domestically.

Even if you want to send dry gingerbread cake as a gift for an anniversary or any public  holiday, you’d better mention in the consignment note that you are sending food for personal use. Otherwise, you may be liable for violations of food import regulations.