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Everything You Need to Know About Shipping Liquids Internationally

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Shipping liquids internationally can be complex, especially with specific rules and regulations to follow. Many countries have stringent requirements and restrictions in place for flammable or alcoholic liquids, so it’s essential to do a thorough check before shipping.

Here, we discuss all you need to know about the process of liquid transportation and the logistics involved.

Can I ship liquids?

Yes, you can ship liquids overseas, but restrictions may apply for the type of liquid that you are shipping. Generally, you can ship non-flammable liquids via regular air, ocean freight or ground cargo services. However, it gets trickier when it comes to shipping other types of liquids, such as alcohol and flammable substances. You will also want to pay attention to the laws that apply to the country that you’re shipping to.

How do I ship liquids in bulk?

You can ship non-flammable, non-hazardous liquids in bulk through ocean freight service providers. For example, DHL’s ocean freight services allow you to transport liquids in bulk cargo via a Flexitank, which is a multi-layered bladder designed to fit into a 20-foot standard shipping container – the equivalent of an ISO tank.

What liquids am I prohibited from shipping by regular mail?

You are prohibited from shipping flammable, hazardous liquids by regular mail, such as alcoholic beverages, nail polish, perfumes containing alcohol and poisons. If you’d like to send aerosol cans and similar items, you will have to opt for surface mail services as they can explode with changes in air pressure.

How can I ship liquids that contain alcohol, such as perfume and wine? 

For liquid items that can’t be shipped through regular mail, you can use a commercial carrier with specialised shipping services, like DHL Express. If you need to ship wine internationally, consider DHL Express’ Wine & Spirits Logistics services, which offer seamless, specialised transportation to a wide range of businesses across the wine and spirits industry.

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Perfumes may be classified as Dangerous Goods due to their flammable nature, so we recommend that you reach out to our experts for professional guidance if you’d like to ship them. 

What about perishables?

Perishable liquids such as milk and soup need to be packed with care and shipped fast to minimise transit time. You can use dry ice or a styrofoam cooler to protect the items from temperature changes during shipping. 

How do I pack liquids for international shipping? 

You can pack your liquid items securely by using sealed plastic bags and containers, cellulose wadding, absorbent packets, corrugated cardboard boxes, adhesive tape and thermal bubble wrap. 

Don’t forget to tape the bottoms of your boxes and wrap each container in packing paper. Place bottles in foam or cardboard trays and separate them by using dividers. Fill empty spaces with padding so that items can’t move around inside the box. 

Make sure you seal the top of the box several times with tape and mark it as “fragile” or “flammable” if necessary. 

How do I get started on shipping liquids overseas?

First of all, you need to identify the type of liquid you want to ship and if your destination country requires a licence for importing these products. Then, decide on the appropriate packaging to protect your shipment. Remember to add a “fragile” or “flammable” label if this is necessary. Finally, obtain the shipping services of a reliable logistics partner, such as DHL Express. Open a business account with us now.