Colorful macaroons in a box and marshmallow

Whether you are shipping for your personal or business use, you want to properly ship perishable items to avoid spoilage or returns. When using the post office this means knowing the proper regulations and making sure that your items are properly packaged and labels to ensure compliance with those regulations. The domestic mail manual outlines procedures for any type of shipping. By following the rules outlined in this manual your items will reach their destination safely.

Pack the items so that they will remain in good condition for the amount of time estimated for delivery. Pack the item tightly using packing peanuts, or bubble wrap to avoid bruises, leakage, or decay due to handling. Any food or item that will decay or create a bad odor prior to the estimated delivery date cannot be shipped.

Use a proper container that is made to protect and secure the contents. The container should keep the item at the proper temperature and, if necessary air tight. The container needs to fit the item you are shipping to avoid bruising, breakage, or emission of foul odors. A polystyrene container is required for any package that needs dry ice to maintain its temperature.

Pack any shipment requiring dry ice in a container which allows the safe release of carbon dioxide. Due to its breathability, polystyrene containers are the preferred package when shipping items in dry ice. The polystyrene container releases carbon dioxide safely without pressure buildup within the container.


  • Make sure that live animals are packed in a container that will secure them and keep them alive and in good condition for the duration of the shipment. This includes proper ventilation and construction. This primarily relates to cold blooded animals, primarily reptiles, that do not require food or water during the shipping process.