Welcome to The Newsletter from All Pro Shipping, home of ShipYourReptiles.com and ShipYourAquatics.com. Each week we will share tips and best practices to help your business grow and get you Shipping Like a Pro!
Our newest questions come from Chris B.
What are your thoughts on labeling boxes with up arrows and fragile stickers? I’ve always heard it makes them do the opposite. What do you think? Also I’m scared to use the Lacey Act decals you folks include with the boxes I order. It scares me to have the word “live” anywhere on the box. I’ve had FedEx Office locations refuse to hold any “live” animals.
Those are good questions!
Our packaging comes with up arrows and the word “perishable” on the box. Beyond the required IATA/Lacey Act label, there is no reference to the shipment being live. This is to keep the package as discrete as possible. The less attention you can draw to your package, while still complying with the IATA/Lacey Act regulations, the better. We are all well aware that not everyone appreciates our cold blooded friends, so we don't want to bring any extra attention to the package.
We must insist that you use the IATA/Lacey Act labeling. Not only is it part of our Terms of Service, but it is also required by law. Every improperly labeled box dings our company's standing with FedEx while also dinging the reptile industry as a whole. The label is discrete enough that it won't draw untoward attention to your package. As long as you select Aquatic or Reptile option, include the quantity, common name, and scientific name of the animals, you are in compliance! Fish and Wildlife DO audit packages for the labels, and it has happened that animals have been confiscated and fines have been issued. Proper labeling is especially important when shipping into and out of Florida and California. Improper or lack of labeling means you run the risk of confiscation, a hefty fine, or both. It's not worth the risk!
I believe it's important to point out that there is a distinction to be made between Express services and Ground or Home Delivery services. Because Express services are “express” the packages spend less time riding the FedEx system, and as such will have less opportunity to become damaged along the way. Most of the system is automated, so bumps and dings do occasionally happen, but the required 3/4" insulation not only protects from extreme temperatures, but also provides critical structural support to the box.
That said, you do not need to write “fragile” on the box, nor would we recommend it. The word does not change how the package is handled, but it might draw negative attention.
Ground packages are expected to work their way through multiple stations, sorting facilities, and are subjected to multiple loadings and off-loadings, and are obviously not suitable for live shipments.
FedEx Office locations are completely within their rights to refuse a live shipment. That is because only specific FedEx locations will accept live shipments. These are commonly called FedEx Ship Centers (also known as "hubs"), and it is only at these locations that you may drop off or pick up live shipments. If you ever need to know which Hub/Ship Center is yours, give us a call with your zip code and we'll be happy to find it for you. If you're ever shipping to a Ship Center for customer pick up, there is a super handy widget under the "Ship To" portion of your label order form. Select "Ship To FedEx facility", type in your recipient's zip code, and the first option to pop up is your customer's nearest Ship Center that will accept live shipments! FedEx Office, Pack and Ship, Walgreens locations, and similar retail locations may not accept live shipments.
Got questions? Email us at email@example.com.