Trrm Banner

27 February 2018

Seven Quick Tips for Successful Shipping

When it comes to shipping live animals, there are a lot of different things that need to be considered for the safety and well-being of those animals. The following are some quick and easy tips that will help ensure your animals arrive safe, your customers are kept happy, and maybe even save you some money along the way.

1. Choose your Shipping Day wisely.

If you’re shipping live animals Priority Overnight through SYR, you are allowed to ship Mondays – Thursdays, for a Friday delivery at the latest. However, there is more risk involved when shipping out on Thursday. If that shipment gets delayed (could be weather related, mechanical failure, or human error) then the next scheduled delivery date would not be until Monday. This obviously causes a great deal of stress and puts the animal at great risk. IF you find yourself in this position, please CALL US and let us know immediately. The well-being of your animals is our absolute top priority and our Customer Service personnel are far more effective at resolving these issues than anyone you could reach by calling FedEx directly. 

To help avoid that kind of scenario in the first place, consider only sending out shipments Mondays – Wednesdays. 

Also, pay close attention to federal holidays. Make sure your “next day delivery” does not get interrupted by one of the following FedEx observed holidays: 

  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve
  • New Year’s Day

2. Hold at Hub

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to have your shipment held at the local hub, aka FedEx Ship Center. (This is NOT a FedEx Office, Pak Mail, Mail Boxes, Etc, or other satellite/franchise location.) 

  • If your customer is at all unsure about whether or not they can be home when the FedEx driver is dropping off the shipment.
  • Your customer lives far from the hub and you both want to minimize the length of time the box is riding around on the delivery truck. (This also saves on some extra surcharge fees!)
  • If the temperatures being shipped in are concerning. Your shipment will arrive early in the morning and be kept inside until the recipient picks it up. PLEASE READ our guidelines on temperature ranges for safe shipping!

If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not a package should be held at the hub, or you need help finding the right FedEx facility to ship to, call us and we’ll be glad to help you out!

3. Extra Contact Info

Before you seal up your box and put the shipping label on, place a copy of the shipping label inside. Alternatively, you can use a plain sheet of paper with your tracking number and the shipping TO and FROM addresses written plainly on it. 

If anything should happen to the label on the outside (getting wet, torn, or falling off) FedEx will still be able to identify your package and get it back on track with a new label. 

4. Follow Lacey Act/IATA labeling rules

In a nutshell, it is required by the federal government for shipments with live animals to be labeled properly. This includes clearly printing the quantity of each species with both common and scientific names, as well as an international symbol indicating reptile or aquatic animals. CLICK HERE for more details. 

By following these requirements properly, you reduce the chance of having your package and its contents seized by government officials. 

5. Box Sizes and Measurements

This one is more about saving you money. Just a few inches of difference in overall dimensions can make a big difference in the cost of shipping your box. We recommend that you always use the smallest box possible that will still safely accommodate the animal(s) you are shipping. 

During the winter months when heat packs may be used, we strongly recommend that a box be no smaller than 12x9x6 for heat pack use. See guidelines for heat pack use here. 

It’s also very important to measure your boxes accurately. The measurements shown on your box, say 12x9x6 inches, indicate the internal size of the box. This is the standard used by the packaging industry. However, FedEx measures the external size of the box, and they round up to the nearest inch. FedEx may measure our popular 12x9x6 box as 12x9x7 inches—and that's what they charge for.

If the box size is larger (or heavier) than what was entered on the label order, then FedEx will charge us the difference. Then we, in turn, must charge you. That’s never fun for anyone.

Measure the outside of your sealed box accurately. Round up to the nearest inch. Enter your information correctly. Measure twice. Double-check your work. Seriously.

6. Insurance

ShipYourReptiles is the ONLY way you can insure your live reptile shipments for both On-Time Delivery and Live Arrival. At this time, ShipYourAquatics offers only On-Time Delivery insurance. 

If your package arrives late, and because of that, the reptiles inside are DOA (dead on arrival) you may be reimbursed for the full amount that you have insured it for. These types of DOA are rare, but they have happened and this insurance can offer tremendous peace of mind, especially when shipping high-dollar packages. 

But even if you go with our minimum On-Time insurance ($2.50 per label), you may be reimbursed shipping fees if that package is delivered even one minute late, according to FedEx time stamps. If you ship a lot of packages over the course of a year, a number of them are bound to be delivered a few minutes late, here and there. Getting the money back on those labels can be a significant savings over time! 

Follow this link for all the details about how our Insurance works.

7. Contact US for any shipping delays or other issues

One of your absolute strongest tools for successful shipping is our Customer Service Desk. Whether you have questions before buying a label, or need help with a shipment after it’s been given to FedEx, we’re here for you. 

No one can track down lost or stalled shipments faster or more effectively than our Customer Service representatives. 

If you find yourself in this stressful situation, don’t call FedEx. CALL US. We’ll contact FedEx and do all that work for you, and give that shipment the absolute best chance at being successfully completed. 

Customer Service
Mon-Fri 7am-6pm MST

Click here to SUBSCRIBE and be the first to read each week's Newsletter!