How to Ship Baby Formula: A Complete Guide to Sending & Packaging Formula

Learn how to properly package and ship baby formula within the United States, and how to save the most money doing it
how to ship baby formula
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With the current baby formula shortage, a lot of shippers and individuals have asked us how they can send baby formula, and what the right way is to get it done. The good news is, there’s no wrong way to send baby formula, since the carriers don’t consider it a hazardous material to send…however, there are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind in terms of the type of packaging you should use and the kind of service you should opt for. This guide is all about how to ship baby formula, how to best package it up for shipment, and how to save the most money on your labels. Read on to get the scoop!

Table of Contents

Use a Corrugated Cardboard Box Instead of an Envelope to Ship Baby Formula

First thing’s first: if you’re thinking of using an envelope or poly mailer to ship your formula, think again! You should never use an envelope to send formula; instead, use a corrugated cardboard box. Most formula comes in cans or relatively delicate cardboard packaging, and using a box provides you much more protection than an envelope in case your package takes any pressure during transit, which, let’s be honest…it most likely will. In this case, the worst thing that could happen is for the can or package to rupture from pressure and spill formula everywhere; that would defeat the whole purpose of sending it in the first place!

If you’re on the hunt for boxes, ULINE has plenty of brand new cardboard boxes of all sizes on their website. USPS also lets you order free Priority Mail packaging off of their website, which you can check out here.

Use Protective Packing Material Such as Bubble Wrap or Air Pillows to Take Up Space in Your Box

Once you place your formula packaging inside of your cardboard box, you may notice that there’s quite a bit of room left inside. Again, to prevent any pressure from breaking open your formula container, you’ll want to fill this empty space up with as much packing material as you can. A couple great types of packing material to accomplish this are bubble wrap and air pillows. The more you can fit inside your box, the better!

To see if you used enough packing material to protect your contents, a good test is to toss your package up and down, and to flip it over a few times. If you can feel your formula containers moving around inside of it, it means you need to stuff more packing material inside the box.

Opt for a Speedy Shipping Service like USPS First Class Package or USPS Priority Mail

When it comes to sending baby formula, you’ll want to consider two things: temperature and speed. Also, formula won’t necessarily go bad if it’s on the road for a long time…but considering the current shortage of formula in the country, delivery speed is of the essence.

That said, you don’t necessarily need the absolute fastest service possible, but you don’t want to choose a longer ground service that can take up to a whole week for delivery, either. Our recommendation is to spring for one of the air-based USPS services that feature package delivery within 1 to 3 business days. Those services are listed below:

For the best mix of affordability and speed, we suggest either First Class Package or Priority Mail. If your package weighs less than 16 ounces, First Class Package is the cheapest service you can get; if it weighs more than 16 ounces, Priority Mail is your best bet. Both services feature delivery between 1-3 business days, depending on how far the package needs to travel.

Priority Mail Express will get your baby formula shipment to your destination the fastest out of all three options…but it can be quite more expensive than regular Priority Mail, so it may not be worth it. It’s up to you at the end of the day, though!

Save Money on USPS Labels With Online Shipping Software

Like shipping anything else, you should never go to the Post Office to ship your package! Instead, buy and print your own labels with online shipping software. When you use online shipping software, you don’t just give yourself the gift of convenience by purchasing your labels from the comfort of your own home (or office); you also put money back into your pocket by accessing special discounts that carriers like USPS typically only reserve for huge shippers.

For USPS, that special level of discounts is called Commercial Pricing. Historically, USPS usually only allowed huge commercial shippers sending more than 50,000 packages per year. However, by using online shipping software, you get to access those discounts for free in most cases. Depending on what you’re shipping, those discounts can save you 89% off of what you’d pay to ship the same package at your local Post Office. If you’re sending lots of packages, that can amount to a crazy amount of savings!

Another amazing thing about buying postage online is that you can skip those headache-inducing lines at the Post Office by just dropping off your package inside the lobby. To take it a step further, you can even schedule free pickups from USPS, where they’ll come get your package at the same time your carrier delivers your mail. That means you can ship your baby formula without even leaving your house, and save the most money possible in the process. Talk about a double whammy!

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