Everything You Need to Know About Shipping Liquids Internationally

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Shipping liquids internationally can be tricky as there are specific rules and regulations to follow, especially when shipping flammable and alcoholic liquids. Therefore, it is essential to understand the requirements before getting started.

There are a variety of methods available for cross border liquid shipping, including air, ship and ground carrier services. This article will focus on everything you need to know about shipping liquids internationally from Malaysia via air freight. 

What is the best way to ship liquids internationally from Malaysia?

Air freight is one of the most cost-effective and fastest ways to send liquids in bulk overseas, especially if long-distance travel is required. Unlike land and sea shipping that may be subjected to unfavourable weather conditions, air freight is a relatively safer and more reliable option. This is particularly true if you are sending perishables like soup and milk, which have to be shipped fast to minimise transit time.

However, do note that you can only ship non-flammable liquids via regular air freight services.

What liquids are you prohibited from shipping by regular mail? 

Generally, there are three types of liquids: non-flammable, flammable and hazardous liquids. Non-flammable, non-hazardous liquids, including perishables, can be sent via general air freight and DHL Express as long as they are packaged appropriately. 

However, you are not allowed to send flammable, hazardous liquids by general air freight and DHL Express, such as aerosols, alcoholic beverages, nail polish, perfumes containing alcohol and poisons. Other hazardous substances that are prohibited include corrosive liquids and biological samples. 

How can you ship flammable liquids like wines and perfumes? 

For liquid substances that cannot be shipped via regular mail, the simplest option is to use a commercial carrier with specialised shipping services, like DHL Express. DHL’s Wine & Spirits Logistics services offer seamless, specialised transportation to a wide range of businesses across the wine and spirits industry. 

If you’re looking to ship flammable liquids that may be classified as Dangerous Goods, such as perfumes, we recommend that you reach out to our experts for professional guidance.

How do you pack liquids for international shipping?

Secure your liquid items using adhesive tape, bubble wrap, sealed plastic bags and containers, cellulose wadding, absorbent packets and corrugated cardboard boxes. 

Bottles should be placed in cardboard trays with dividers to separate them from each other. You should consider filling empty spaces with padding so that your items won’t move around.

Don’t forget to seal your boxes and tape the bottoms to prevent any forms of spillage. It’s also essential to mark the boxes as "flammable" or "fragile" if necessary.

How to get started on sending liquids overseas

Getting started on shipping liquids overseas is simple. Here are the steps you need to follow: 

  • Decide on the type of liquid you want to ship. 
  • Find out if your destination country requires a licence for importing liquid products. 
  • Package your shipment securely.
  • Add a “fragile” or “flammable” label if necessary.
  • Obtain the services of a reliable courier that accepts liquids, such as DHL. Please reach out to us if you require further assistance.


2 Mins Summary of Shipping Liquid Internationally

Now, you would have a clear view on how to ship liquids internationally.

With over 50 years of experience helping businesses move liquid products, we've discovered that obtaining the necessary licenses consistently presents a significant challenge for all shippers.

Despite the initial confusion, all shippers have successfully navigated this obstacle with our close assistance. If you are a DHL Express business account holder, reach out to your dedicated account manager when planning to ship liquids. They will assist you in every aspect of liquid shipment preparation, from documenting requirements to packaging and labeling.

Otherwise, you can create a DHL Express account today, and we'll handle all your customs requirements for a hassle-free experience.