Schumer: End Alcohol Mail Restrictions
October 30, 2013
SOUTHERN TIER -- (WENY) Since 1909, wineries and breweries haven't been able to ship their products using the US Postal Service. More than 100 years later, that could all be changing. US Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for legislation that would end mail restrictions on alcohol, which could help save the postal service.
"The Postal Service is looking to try to recover a $20 billion dollar gap between our current finances and what we need going into the future. And being able to expand our products and services is one key component of that" said Karen Mazurkiewicz, Spokesperson for the United States Postal Service.
It not only helps the Postal Service but the breweries using them.
"Should be cheaper, it should be easier, I mean they come to the business every single day as it is, if they can just pick up a package here and take it on their way it saves us time and money," said Mark Neumann, CEO of Upstate Brewing Company.
It's not only the breweries that would benefit from this but wineries as well.
Lakewood Winery here on Seneca Lake would be able to expand the places the distribute to and help grow their business. For partner Liz Stamp, shipping heavy wine with UPS or Fed Ex could get pricey, but with the postal service offering flat rate shipping it could mean big savings.
"To have a flat rate on that and quote that and know exactly where our margins are going to be would definitely help out business," said Stamp. "I think with options like this to make it easier for the consumer to order our product we are likely to get permits in more states to ship into more states than we currently ship into so I think it's a win, win," she added.
Schumer also said that direct shipping to customers is the fastest-growing sector of the wine industry. And the change in law, while nation-wide, would particularly benefit New York state. If approved the change would take effect next year.