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Shipping Alternatives For the Vaping and E-Cigarette Industry


Without USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL, vape and electronic-cigarette retailers and manufacturers still have a number of alternative shipping options, depending on the volume and destination of their products. For larger volumes, turn to uShip for instant rates and to book direct with 30+ national and regional less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers. For smaller quantities, like parcels or a few boxes, look into uShip’s open marketplace to access a nationwide network of independent transport companies. These drivers in sprinter vans and pickups with trailers typically move larger items (not necessarily parcels), so small-package delivery rates and times may not be as favorable compared to traditional providers, you can still get your products shipped nationwide or regionally.

woman vaping with phone

Retailers and manufacturers in the vaping and e-cigarette industry are scrambling to find logistics alternatives after a “vape mail ban” resulted in the United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, UPS, and DHL will no longer ship the products.

The ban covers vape shipping to both consumers and businesses.

Why is the “vape mail ban” happening?

A byproduct of the federal COVID-19 relief legislation passed in December were provisions that now make it more difficult to distribute e-cigarette products through the USPS.

The change – an expansion of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) – impacts all vaping liquids, including those that contain nicotine, CBD, THC, and other substances being distributed via USPS by retailers and manufacturers. In light of the legislation, FedEx and UPS announced similar bans.

So, how do retailers and manufacturers distribute their vape and e-cigarette products?

Many count on small, parcel size shipments so are likely seeking a parcel alternative. Others rely on sending larger quantities, boxed on pallets or in crates, through less-than-truckload (LTL) freight services.

truck forklift LTL

LTL Freight Services

Let’s tackle larger quantities first. If you’ve got a pallet or several pallets of products ideal for LTL, you can find success through uShip’s LTL marketplace. Get instant rates from 30+ top national and regional LTL carriers. Check their on-time history and other service ratings before you book directly.

Having freight rates in one location is exactly like booking an airline ticket on a travel booking site. You save a ton of time and effort by having shipping rates consolidated into one location. It can take hours going to every carrier’s site. It getting to know the breadth of carriers available can be a steep learning curve. And rates are competitive with what you’ll find if visiting each site individually.

If you haven’t used LTL before, take note of access at pickup and delivery locations. Carriers will often tack on “assessorial fees” if they need to use additional equipment like a pallet jack or liftgate. They may also charge for entering a residential area vs. simply backing up to a dock. As a service, uShip audits invoices to ensure you’re not being overcharged.

Man sprinter van boxes, vape shipping

Parcel Shipping Services

If you have parcel-sized vape shipments, consider listing your item on uShip’s open marketplace as an alternative. It’s free to list and you’ll get connected with professional transporters who drive sprinter vans, box trucks, and pickups with trailers.

Historically, the nationwide network of transporters on uShip haul oversized items like cars, furniture, motorcycles, boats, and more. In other words, parcels aren’t necessarily their specialty. As a result, small-package delivery rates and times may be unfavorable compared to traditional providers. Still, it gives you a source for shipping your products nationwide or regionally.

If you’re shipping your parcel-size quantities regionally or even locally, consider finding a local final-mile provider like OnTrac. If you’re moving smaller parcels locally, consider a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to make the deliveries for you.