FEDEX V. UPS: Who’s Wine Deliveries Are Hotter?

Just something to consider….

I was talking with a journalist in Colorado today who receives a lot of wine shipments to his home…every day. He disclosed to me that in a very consistent way wines delivered by UPS are about 15 degrees warmer than wines delivered by FED EX.

How does he know this? He measures the temperatures of the outside of the boxes when they arrive at his home with a laser temperature guage. He says the difference in temperature between UPS and FED EX is consistent.

"Why," I asked him, "would this be the case?

In his opinion the reason is two fold: 1) The brown trucks of UPS absorb more heat than white trucks of FED EX. 2) UPS has translucent panels on their their trucks that allow more heat in.

And how hot are the boxes that come from UPS? "Usually 90 degrees or warmer," he said.


Summer isn’t the best time to be having wine shipped unless you go overnight delivery. The chance of getting a heat stroked wine is just too high. A lot of places you buy from will hold the wine for you until the fall and cooler temperatures roll around. However, a journalist writing regular reviews and on a publishing deadline doesn’t have this luxury.

So…just an anecdote from a curious journalist with a thermometer.

11 Responses

  1. dfredman - June 21, 2006

    Shipping (and/or receiving) samples this time of year is a necessary evil in this biz. I try to make sure that they’re sent to a business address whenever possible, as it’ll usually be delivered earlier in the day than it would be to a residence. Styro shippers help maintain temperatures a little bit, although I prefer the eco-friendliness of the recycled cardboard shippers that I use during the cooler months.

  2. Christopher Pratt - June 21, 2006

    Don’t know if it’s an option for him, but here in Washington state UPS offers a Hold For Pick-Up service; that way, the wine stays in their warehouse [which is relatively cool] instead of riding around on the truck all day, running the risk of warming up. Of course, if you work from home, it’s kinda inconvenient as you’d have to make a trip down to UPS to pick up your packages…

  3. bob gustafson - June 21, 2006

    I think a more valid measurement would be to measure the temperature of the bottle of wine that is inside the box. With the styrofoam packing, I would think that this would provide insulation and decrease the temperature difference. I would think that the temperature of the outside of the box would be substantially higher than the temperature of the wine itself.

  4. lenn - June 21, 2006

    Tom…I notice the same thing with my LI shipments. But, UPS is much better about delivering them when I’m home (the driver knows I have a day job and tries to come after I’m home). So…there are pluses and minuses.

  5. tom merle - June 22, 2006

    Styrofoam is a two edged sword. It offers better initial insulation, but once penetrated by heat holds it longer (i.e. if the wines are left over the weekend in a hot warehouse) TOM

  6. Brent Stiffler - June 25, 2006

    Your note on who’s deliveries are hotter was interesting. I am the head of the Fedex wine shipping program. I would love to talk with the Colorado journalist who measured this. Any chance you could forward me his/her name?

  7. Mark Chenowith - July 17, 2006

    I have been receiving wine for years by all carriers. I can undoubtedly state that FedEx has cornered the market on overall ability in both the Air and Ground shipping of Wine. They have all the resources you need on their wine website and their staff is very knowledgable in the process of transporting the product. UPS is brown and brown in the color of shit.

  8. James Polsky - September 28, 2006

    Does anybody have an idea of which wineries ship with which carrier? I’ve just started a wine warehouse in the NY area, and am trying to see if we can consolidate shipments from the west coast. Both UPS and FEDEX are very expensive.
    James Polsky
    917 701 5551

  9. jeff lieber - November 25, 2006

    Judge delivers 90 days in jail to former FedEx man
    [email protected]
    Posted: Nov. 20, 2006
    Waukesha – The now-former FedEx man who delivered a fist to the face when a fabric store worker refused to take delivery of a package was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail with work-release privileges for breaking the worker’s nose.
    Background Coverage
    3/7/06: Former FedEx man is accused of battery
    Although Waukesha County Circuit Judge Kathryn W. Foster issued the jail time to Marshall A. Folger as part of a plea bargain that reduced a felony battery charge to a misdemeanor, Foster told Folger “it is my displeasure today that I took the plea.”
    Foster was unhappy with Folger’s apparent lack of remorse for punching Jo-Ann fabric store worker Jeff Lieber in the face Dec. 30.
    According to the criminal complaint in the case:
    Folger, 40, of Oak Creek, asked Lieber, the store’s receiving manager, to sign a delivery form for a package for Viking, a sewing machine firm that used space at the fabric store, at 16800 W. Blue Mound Road, Brookfield.
    Lieber refused to sign for the package, explaining that a Viking employee had to sign.
    Folger “immediately began a verbal confrontation,” but Lieber continued to refuse to sign.A Viking employee eventually emerged and signed for the package. As Folger was being escorted out of the rear of the store he warned Lieber that someday he would “beat” him.
    When Lieber told Folger that police would be called if he didn’t leave, Folger grabbed Lieber, pulled him out the back door and punched him.
    In court Monday, Lieber said that he would require a surgery if he wants to breathe right and that two of his front teeth were chipped and a third tooth is loose with a shattered root.
    Foster, who noted that Folger had in the past threatened a UPS driver, ordered Folger to undergo anger management counseling and to pay $3,942 in restitution to Lieber for medical costs.
    From the Nov. 21, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    Have an opinion on this story? Write a letter to the editor or start an online forum.
    Subscribe today and receive 4 weeks free! Sign up now.

  10. Paul Triller - January 25, 2007

    The age old question of which carrier to use. I’ve never really had any complaints about the temperature with UPS. They both seem to get the job done so my only concern is the price. I ship a lot of wine and one of my friends told me about and that really helps me save money. So if you don’t mind using both FedEx and UPS, check out shippingsidekick for the best price.

  11. Jo Anne Fabric - February 1, 2007

    Jo Anne Fabric

    We need to get information, directions, and reviews And lunch, of course. Find discount uphols

Leave a Reply