ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – “It happens more often than you think,” so says Mike Cooke, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, Gateway Division in St. Louis.
Cooke didn’t have firm numbers on just how many times cremated remains are shipped, but he shared the regulations that govern how they are to be shipped, including the requirement that cremated remains must be shipped via Priority Mail.
All the regulations are contained in a USPS Publication. The requirements listed there cover preparing, packaging and shipping human or animal cremated remains. An inner and outer container is required and customers are encouraged to work with a licensed funeral home director to choose the best container.
The funeral director at Schrader Funeral Home and Crematory, Bill Weissenbach, says they ship cremated remains up to twice a month.
“There are months when we don’t ship any,” he says.
Weissenbach says families may choose to ship cremated remains because they have a loved one who died in the St. Louis region, but grew up in another state.
“They may also not feel comfortable transporting the remains themselves either by ground/driving or commercial aircraft. They have the option of having the funeral home placing the remains in the possession of the U.S. Postal Service for shipping,” he says.
The postal regulations also state, “You can only ship cremated remains via Priority Mail Express. and the post office requires an inner container be properly sealed so that it is siftproof. The postal regulations describe siftproof as any vessel that does not allow loose powder to leak or sift out during transit.”
Cooke says the same regulations apply if you are shipping the cremated remains of a pet.