Global courier FedEx will no longer ship packages containing tobacco products, including cigars. The change to the shipping policy will go into effect January 5, 2016.
In an email correspondence with FedEx Customer Service, we were informed of the change:
Effective Jan. 5, 2016, all tobacco products, including loose tobacco, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah tobacco and cigarettes, will be prohibited and the FedEx Express Terms & Conditions, FedEx Ground Tariff and FedEx Freight Tariff will be updated to reflect this prohibition.
While FedEx previously prohibited to customers, the new policy now effects U.S. domestic shipments between manufacturers and retailers.
The change is believed to stem from a $235 million dollar lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that charged shipping company with violating state and federal law by delivering over 400,000 cartons of cheap and untaxed cigarettes to consumers across New York State. A similar lawsuit was filed against UPS.
A source close to the issue told Cigar Coop that FedEx made this decision because the risk of further problems outweighed the reward (i.e. maintaining the tobacco industry business).
This is disturbing news and could mean the death knell for online retailers if other shippers follow suit. Would be a boon to brick and mortar retailers if they can get cigars themselves. Hmm, could be a major dilemma. So many ways to ruin it for all of us.
it will be problematic for B&M retailers as well, since most of the distributors ship either FedEx or UPS
The Scoop With Coop – KMA Talk Radio
[…] service for most domestic shipments within the U.S. for the cigar industry. Three years ago, Federal Express stopped shipping tobacco products, and this resulted in many cigar distributors switching over to UPS. A labor strike could have […]