Shipping rare and valuable wines is always a task that requires a little forethought and planning, and preparing your wine properly for transit is doubly important if you intend to transport your wines via conventional postal or courier services. The somewhat rough-and-tumble nature of these delivery services means that your wines must be properly protected against all the bumps and scrapes they're likely to encounter on the road, and packing your wine in customised wine boxes is the best way to ensure they arrive at their destination in one piece.
However, wine packaging suppliers offer a range of different box varieties, and choosing the right one for your shipping requirements can be a little challenging. Here are the most common varieties of wine boxes, along with their individual advantages and disadvantages:
Cardboard wine boxes
Widely available and remarkably inexpensive, these boxes are made from pressed or corrugated cardboard and are ideal for shipping large quantities of wine in one go. They are available in individual or multi-bottle models, and they can be assembled quickly and easily. The lightness of cardboard also ensures that your boxes will not add weight to your packaged wine.
However, while the cardboard used to make these boxes is quite durable, it cannot stand up to more catastrophic impacts and is particularly vulnerable to crushing damage if stacked underneath heavy parcels or other wine boxes. Supplementary padding, such as bubble wrap or foam inserts, should be inserted into these boxes to maximise the protection they offer, so make sure the boxes you order are large enough to accommodate this padding.
Foam wine boxes
Instead of using foam to pad cardboard boxes, why not use boxes made of foam? Polystyrene foam boxes are only slightly more expensive than their cardboard counterparts, and they provide significantly more protection against minor impacts. Because these boxes are manufactured with moulds, their insides are contoured to the dimensions of your wine bottles, so these boxes are excellent for preventing your wine from rattling around during transit without the need for extra padding.
Unfortunately, foam wine boxes do not have much more load-bearing strength than cardboard boxes, and they can still be crushed by heavy loads stacked overhead. Polystyrene foam is also far from the most environmentally friendly option, although you can sometimes find foam boxes made from recycled plastics.
Wooden wine boxes
The last word in durability and protection are wooden wine boxes, which are ideal for protecting your most treasured (and expensive) wines, and they can stand up to almost anything that postal or courier transit can throw at them. Single and multi-bottle varieties are available, with single bottle wooden boxes providing unmatched protection for particularly valuable vintage wines. These boxes are also easily reusable, making them ideal for shipping wine to business associates who will be able to return your boxes.
This level of protection comes at a price, however, and timber is generally the most expensive option for wine boxing materials. Despite the protection they give, these boxes will also require internal padding to properly protect your wines.
For more information and options for shipping wine, talk with companies that offer custom made boxes.