How to Ship Meat and Perishables with USPS

Learn the best way to ship meat with the United States Postal Service
Ship meat with USPS
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Let’s meat up! As eCommerce continues to boom, more meat and perishable food is being shipped across the country than ever before. With new food-centric delivery apps like Goldbelly, it’s not uncommon now for someone in Los Angeles to order a steak from their favorite New York restaurant and have it delivered to their doorstep. If you’re an online retailer trying to get in on the action, we’ve got you covered. This guide is all about how to ship meat with USPS, and the most effective way to get it done.

USPS Allows You to Ship Meat, But Only Domestically

The US Postal Service is pretty lenient when it comes to shipping meat. All you have to do is make sure the meat conforms to regulations set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USPS also don’t restrict you to any specific type of service for shipping meat, as is the case when shipping hazardous materials. That being said, you can only ship meat with USPS domestically.

Our Recommendation? Use Priority Mail Express

Even though you can use any USPS service to ship meat, our suggestion is to use USPS Priority Mail Express service. Speed is the most important factor when shipping perishable items, and you want your meat to reach their final destination as quickly as possible.

Priority Mail Express offers next-day delivery to most urban destinations, and 2-day delivery to and from rural locations. The best part is, you’re guaranteed to get your money back if the shipment doesn’t make it there in time! This service also comes with $100 of built in insurance to cover you if your contents spoil or get lost during transit.

Fill Your Package with Sufficient Cooling Material

It’s also important to keep your contents cool during transit, or else they will spoil. We recommend including either frozen gel packs, wet ice (melted water), or dry ice inside a strong, corrugated cardboard box. Whatever you decide to use, you should also include enough absorbent packing material to catch any leakage or liquid runoff.

If you do include dry ice, there are some specific guidelines you’ll need to follow. We’ve listed those out for you below:

  • Make sure you don’t exceed the 5 pound per package maximum weight limit for dry ice
  • Mark the package with “Dry Ice” or “Carbon Dioxide Solid”
  • Affix the UN 1845 label to your package
  • Mark the package with the net weight of dry ice in kilograms (1 kg = roughly 2.205 pounds)
  • Include name and address of the shipper
  • Include name and address of the recipient

Save the Most Money on with Online Shipping Software

Priority Mail Express can get pretty expensive. So, you should save yourself money and buy postage online with shipping software. Online shipping software allows you to access the deepest USPS discounts like Commercial Pricing, which USPS typically only reserves for huge commercial shippers. When you use free shipping software you can print off your postage at home, skip the lines at the Post Office, and can save up to 15% off retail prices!

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