Packing and Shipping your Competition Entries

Shipping Materials are Now Available

The 2023 Judging & Competition Platform Can Be Found Below

View Award Force Entry Platform

The documents required for shipping your competition entries are now available.

Helpful links for shipping perishable items:

Receiving Day

Your product should be shipped to arrive between Monday, May 15th and Wednesday, May 17th.

Judging Days

Products will be judged on Thursday, May 20th and Friday, May 21st.

Where to Ship

Competition entries should be shipped to:

FedEx/UPS/USPS Shipments and Private Carrier/Hand Deliveries
Huntington Bank Stadium
Attn: Marlee Elder / Special Events
Re: ACS 2023 Judging & Competition
420 23rd Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

  • Private Carrier and Hand-deliveries will be accepted from 10am – 3pm on Receiving Days at the Lake of the Woods Garage Door Entrance, see map here.
    • Lake of the Woods Garage Door Entrance is located on the East side of the stadium along 23rd Ave. SE
    • Turn where it says “Stadium Loading Dock Entrance”, do not turn south once on the parking apron to go the actual loading dock, drive straight ahead to the “Lake of the Woods” garage door.
    • Loading Dock Entrance is also available – recommended for box trucks
  • Ask for the ACS Receiving Manager to check your product in upon your arrival.

Watch the shipping & packing video:

Shipping Documents

Please include your invoice and packing slips for each entry in each master box of cheese you ship in a ziplock bag.

Master Boxes – Master boxes are your shipping box, you can put multiple entries in each master box. Please indicate on the invoice in each box your total box count and box number.  For example, if you are shipping 3 master boxes, please indicate on the invoice in each box “box 1 of 3, box 2 of 3, box 3 of 3”.

Entrants will be able to print the following:

Shipping Labels

These labels indicate that your shipment is for ACS Judging & Competition. You must affix these labels to the outside of your package(s) to clearly identify your shipment. Please affix one label to the exterior of each box being shipped – making as many copies as necessary to ensure one label is affixed to each box. This document contains two shipping labels, and is formatted for AVERY 5126 or compatible labels. You may also print this on standard 8.5 x 11 paper.
View and print Shipping Labels

Packing Slips

Packing slips are generated by the entry software for EACH cheese entry. Please login to the award software here to access your list of entries. “Print Packing Slip” for each entry. This packing slip MUST be included in the shipping box that contains the cheese entry. These packing slips are scanned upon receiving for inventory tracking and to help us ensure we have the details for each entry. Please indicate the number of units being shipped for each entry and be sure to include the date of production for each entry.
View and print Packing Slips and Invoices

If you are withdrawing an entry, please print that packing slip, strike through the entry name and indicate “Withdrawn”. These packing slips should be printed on standard 8.5 x 11 copy paper.

Packing Slip Instructions for Shipping Multiple Boxes

If you are shipping more than one box, please include in each master box:

        1. Invoice – please indicate on your invoice the count of boxes you are shipping (for example; box 1 of 3, box 2 of 3, box 3 of 3)
        2. Packing Slip for entries in that master box
Competition Entry Labels

It is important to label each entry according to your packing slip. If you have multiple entries, please take extra care to make sure each piece has its correct label. If possible, affix the label onto the cheese, not the exterior of the box or wrapper of your cheese.

Each of your entries will have its own unique Judging ID code. This Judging ID in the two letter category code and the Entry ID number, in that order. This 4 to 6 digit code must be affixed to every piece of cheese for easy and anonymous identification. Examples of what this code may look like: AY 88, MA 124, TC 1012.
View example of Competition Entry Labels

We recommend using the AVERY 5160 label template (or other compatible label) for printing your Judging ID codes.

Creating and affixing Judging ID codes to your cheese entries is required. ACS will NOT be creating, shipping or uploading pre-printed labels.

Entries from Canada

Non-US entrants will be provided with a US Customs Letter to include with their shipment.
View and print the U.S. Customs Letter

If you are shipping from Canada and would like to consolidate your shipment with other entries from Canada, please contact Mary Ann Ferrer, [email protected].

Prepare Your Shipment

Your product should be shipped to arrive between Monday, May 15th and Wednesday, May 17th, be aware of when your cheese must ship to get it there on time. Please review the shipping instructions below to ensure your cheese arrives at competition in the best possible condition and eligible to be judged. Watch a “how to” video on Shipping and Packing here.

Quantity Requirements and How to Pack Your Cheese
  • The ACS Judging & Competition is a blind competition. Remove any and all identifying product labels and marks from your competition cheeses.  Any product with brands or labels on the packaging, or the product itself, will receive a 7-point deduction off of the technical score for that product. 
  • Send your cheese in its original form. Cheeses may not be plugged, cut, and/or resealed. Cheeses must be entered as whole wheels, loaves, or blocks.
  • If your product weighs 20 lbs. or more in its whole, original form, a 5-10 lb. cut is sufficient for judging and will be accepted. Cuts should conform to industry norms for retail cuts, i.e. (pie slice shape for wheels, loaf shape for blocks, etc.) and should reflect the shape of the original form, INCLUDING the rind.
  • Any cheese or dairy product that weighs under 1 lb. in whole form will require a minimum of 6 pieces. If product integrity will be compromised by shipping less than a full retail case, we will accept a full retail case.
  • Add 2-3 pounds of ice packs per 5 pounds of hard cheese. DO NOT USE FROZEN WATER BOTTLES.
  • Protect the ice packs so they don’t get the cheese damp by osmosis. Remember that the average summer temperature in many conference host cities is quite high.
  • It is important for product to arrive within an acceptable temperature range. Pack the product to remain cold for 48-72 hours out of refrigeration.
  • Place cheese in a foam or foil-lined shipping box. Cushion with bubble-wrap preferably (avoid using peanuts or paper packing materials).
  • Keep your shipment tracking information on hand! Should there by any issue in receiving your shipment, you will be contacted a representative from the ACS Judging & Competition Committee.