cut up sliced bread on wooden cutting board

How to Ship Bread: The Ultimate 2024 Guide

Baking bread has really taken off since the COVID days, as loads of us dove into new hobbies. It's pretty cool how some of these kitchen experiments have turned into actual businesses! Homemade bread is a big hit, and if you're thinking of joining the club and selling your own, remember that shipping is a key factor in your success. In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about shipping bread.


What Type of Bread You Can Ship (and What You Shouldn't)

 

different types of breads displayed on a wooden cutting board
Credit: Envato Elements/ Olena_Rudo

Let's break down what works and what might not be the best choice for shipping:


Breads That You Can Ship:

  • Sourdough: Sourdough is great for shipping. It stays fresh longer, thanks to its natural acidity.
  • Crusty Loaves: Think French baguettes or Italian ciabatta. These breads have a sturdy crust that helps keep the inside soft and yummy for longer.
  • Dense Breads: Breads packed with grains, seeds, and fruits, like multigrain, rye, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, and banana bread, are good to ship as well. They're dense and hold up well in transit.

Breads Better Left Unshipped:

  • Super Soft Breads: This includes focaccia and other soft sandwich loaves. They tend to get squished and don't hold up as well during shipping.
  • Very Fresh, Moist, or High Yeast Breads: Freshness is awesome, but breads that are super moist or have a high dairy content can go bad more quickly and hence are not ideal for shipping.
  • Pastries and Sweet Breads: Think cinnamon rolls or brioche. They can get sticky, squished, or just not look as pretty on arrival.

Can You Ship Bread Internationally?

 

sliced bread cut up and placed on a wooden cutting board
Credit: Envato Elements/ ImgSolut

Yes, you can mail bread internationally but it's a bit more complicated than just popping it in a box and sending it off.

First things first, different countries have different rules about food imports. So, you'll need to do a bit of homework. Check out the regulations of the country you're shipping to. Some places might have restrictions on certain ingredients or types of food.

Then there's the freshness factor. Bread is best enjoyed fresh. Long shipping times can affect bread quality. If you're sending it far, you'll need to think about how to keep it as fresh as possible. This might mean choosing bread types that have a longer shelf life or getting creative with packaging.

Another thing to consider is cost. International shipping can be pricey, and you don't want the shipping cost to be higher than the price of the bread itself. It's a good idea to look into shipping options and prices before making any promises to customers far away.


What Shipping Service Should You Use?

 

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Credit: Envato Elements/ Mint_Images

Local and National Shipping

If you're sending your bread around town or across the country, you've got a few good options:

  • UPS and FedEx: UPS and FedEx are well-known names in the shipping world. They offer a variety of options, from ground shipping to overnight delivery. They're reliable and have extensive networks, ensuring your bread gets where it needs to go in the U.S. 
  • USPS: USPS is a more economical choice, especially for smaller packages. They offer Priority Mail service, which is typically a 1-3 day delivery window and can be a good balance of speed and cost.
  • Regional Couriers: In some areas, local couriers can be a great choice. They typically offer a more personalized service and may be more accommodating when it comes to shipping cookies, bread, and other food items, especially for deliveries within a particular city or region.

International Shipping

If you're going global, you'll want to use international carriers with a solid track record. Some reliable options include:

  • DHL: A go-to for international shipping, DHL has a strong global presence. They're known for their efficient handling of customs and international logistics.
  • FedEx International: With their strong tracking system and reliable service, FedEx is another excellent choice for sending your bread across borders.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship Bread?

 

yellow van with money bag
Credit: Envato Elements/ iLixe48

The cost of mailing bread depends on a few key things: the size and weight of your bread, how far it’s traveling, and how fast it needs to get there. For a rough estimate, let's say you're sending a standard-sized loaf (about 2 pounds) within the U.S. Using a service like USPS, FedEx, or UPS, you're looking at anywhere from $5 to $15 per package for standard shipping.

If you're sending bread overnight, the price jumps up. We're talking more in the range of $20 to $50, especially if it's going a long distance or you're using a premium service. For international shipping, – it gets pricier. Depending on the destination, shipping a small package of bread could cost anywhere from $25 to over $60.


Step-by-Step Guide to Packaging Bread for Shipping

 

hands packing products in a cardboard box
Credit: Envato Elements/ poungsaed_eco

Here's a simple, step-by-step guide to help you get your bread from oven to doorstep in the best possible shape:


Supplies Required:

  • Freshly baked bread
  • Plastic wrap or food-safe plastic bag
  • A sturdy box
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap or packing paper
  • A shipping label
  • Ziplock bags or sealed plastic bag (optional)

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Allow the bread to cool completely after baking. Warm bread can create condensation inside the packaging.
  2. Wrap each loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap, a plastic bread bag, or food-safe bags to prevent moisture loss and maintain freshness.
  3. For added protection, consider placing the wrapped bread in a ziplock bag. If you're shipping various types of bread, label them to avoid any mix-up during packing.
  4. Next, choose the right shipping container. A sturdy cardboard box that provides ample space for your bread without squishing it is a good choice. Make sure the box is clean and free of any odors.
  5. Consider placing a layer of bubble wrap or packing paper at the bottom of the shipping box to provide cushioning.
  6. Place your wrapped bread inside the cardboard box.
  7. Fill any empty spaces with additional packing material, such as bubble wrap or packing paper, to prevent movement inside the box.
  8. Seal the box securely with packing tape, ensuring it's tightly closed.
  9. Shake the box gently to ensure the contents don't shift.
  10. If you're shipping delicate or highly perishable bread, you may want to consider double-boxing for extra protection.
  11. Clearly write or print the recipient's address on the box.
  12. Place the shipping label on top of the box and secure it with clear packing tape.
  13. Don't forget to include your return address as well.
  14. Lastly, choose the right types of shipping service. Expedited shipping is ideal if you're sending highly perishable bread that needs to be delivered urgently.

Summary


Shipping bread can be a simple process when you follow these step-by-step guidelines. By gathering the right supplies, properly preparing and packing your bread, and selecting the right shipping method, you'll increase the chances of your delicious baked goods arriving fresh and intact at their destination.

And speaking of keeping things fresh, check out Nice Packs insulated shipping boxes. Our boxes are a game-changer for your bread businesses. They're designed to maintain the perfect temperature, ensuring your shipped bread arrives just as delicious as when it left your oven. Shop with us today.