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09 April 2019



Ground Zones – Where do You Fall?


As you know, all live shipments are required to travel Priority Overnight. However, many businesses have more than just live animals to sell. Supplies, equipment, food-stuff, caging, swag, artistic creations, and much more, can be shipped via FedEx’s Ground services. Today, we have for you a quick and easy way to determine how many days of transit your shipment will take. 

What’s the difference between Ground and Home Delivery? 

They’re both Ground services, which means your packages will be shipped via truck, with no planes involved. Whether it’s going to the next county over, or all the way across the country, it will travel by truck. The difference between these two services lies in where the package is ultimately delivered. Ground is used for business shipments. Home Delivery is used for—hold onto your hat for this shocking revelation—residential shipments. Other than that, it is exactly the same service.

How many days in transit? 

A customer wants a heat lamp delivered and calls to ask you how long it will take for them to receive it. There is a quick and easy way to tell at a glance how many days a Ground shipment should take.

FedEx has a nifty little map generator that lays out a color-coded map based on your local zip code (or any zip code you enter into the program). With your zip code as its starting place, the map uses colored zones to denote how many days will be needed to ship throughout the US. You can print out your own map and keep it handy for quick reference anytime a customer has questions about Ground delivery schedules for your dry goods. 

Here are some examples of generated maps at various points throughout the country. Each map shows a different city as its starting point, so you can see how the different zones change, depending on where you're coming from, with bright pink being the "one-day epicenter" on each. 


NEW YORK, NY



CHICAGO, IL



DALLAS, TX




DENVER, CO



SAN FRANCISCO, CA

These maps bring up a critical question. 

“I’m shipping a small reptile from my city to another nearby city. The Ground shipment will only take a day, so why can’t I use that less expensive delivery method? Do I still need to use Priority Overnight?” 

You absolutely MUST use Priority Overnight for live shipments. Priority Overnight falls into the “Express” category. Express packages and Ground packages are handled completely differently. They have different tracking routines and completely different pipelines. Ground shipments (regardless of how many days in transit it is supposed to take) have a much, much lower priority than Express packages. Shipping delays for Ground packages are more common, harder to spot, and harder to track…not to mention that it is strictly against FedEx policy to do so. 

If you ship a live reptile via Ground, and then something happens and the package gets stuck somewhere along the way, FedEx is not going to go to any great effort to find it and get it moving again, because it shouldn’t have been shipped that way in the first place. If anything, it can cause even more problems, as the shipment may be pulled from the system and returned to the sender.

It’s a hard-and-fast rule. All live shipments must go Priority Overnight, no matter how short the journey might be. If it’s a particularly short journey, you might consider offering to meet your buyer half-way and save on shipping altogether. Doing so would be safer than shipping Ground. Never, ever ship live animals via Ground. 

If you’ve read through that and understand the critical reasons why live must go Priority Overnight, please also understand how much we appreciate your business and support! You can use the coupon code PRIORITY50 (case sensitive) for 50% off the FedEx retail rate on your next SYR/SYA shipment! 

And now that that nail has been pounded in deep, remember that we have Ground services for all your dry-goods, with great discounts still applied! So don’t forget to book all your Ground needs through ShipYourReptiles and ShipYourAquatics. If you have a large volume of Ground business, give us a shout and we’ll see about getting you set up with custom rates specific to your business needs! 

One last thought: When shipping Ground, please put a brief description of the item in the Description Field during the label creation process. This lets our staff know that no live animals are in the box and they won’t have to interrupt your day to ask. 

Happy shipping!


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