U.S. Senator Charles Schumer launched his plan last week to end the prohibition-era law that prevents the United States Postal Service (USPS) from delivering beer, wine and spirits to consumers, which puts them at a disadvantage with FedEx and UPS. This ban prevents the struggling agency from earning hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue and limits growth opportunities for local craft brewers.
“Allowing the U.S. Postal Service to ship beer, wine and liquor from Upstate New York breweries and wineries, like other delivery firms already do, is a win-win: It will provide new business opportunity to this growing industry, all while helping to keep the U.S. Postal Service a viable agency, without cutting services,” said Senator Schumer.
Schumer said the estimated $225 million in increased annual revenue for USPS would be massively beneficial to the agency and the 12,090 USPS jobs in Upstate New York that depend on the agency’s viability.
“Whether it’s a business looking for a different shipping option than FedEx and UPS, or a smaller brewery or winery that wants to start getting their product into more customers’ homes, overhauling this outdated prohibition-era rule makes smart business sense and will boost New York businesses,” Schumer stated. “I’ll fight for it to be part of any U.S. Postal Service bill in the coming months.”
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has supported such a provision as have Senators Carper and Coburn, who are respectively the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which has jurisdiction over the Postal Service.
Schumer said that his push would not compel every producer to offer USPS delivery, but it would finally give them the option to offer potentially cheaper USPS shipping service if they have the demand and the staff to accommodate. Schumer also emphasized that like FedEx and UPS, USPS would enforce the National Minimum Age Drinking Act, and Schumer said he would work to ensure that strong regulations remain in place to prevent minors from accessing alcohol.