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31 October 2017


Is it here yet? … Is it here yet? 

There’s nothing quite like that feeling of knowing your newest beautiful animal is on its way to your door. But when will it arrive? Doesn’t FedEx guarantee that all Priority Overnight packages will arrive by 10:30am? No, not really. When they advertise their Priority Overnight services, “10:30am” is the biggest number that flashes all over the screen, but there’s always the small print.

10:30am is the Guaranteed Time of Arrival (GTA) for the majority of their deliveries. Cities with large populations have multiple FedEx hubs that allow for a very rapid disbursement of the day’s shipments. The further out one goes from those hubs, though, the longer it takes for deliveries to be completed. 

Outlying suburbs may have a 12:00pm GTA. 

Rural areas may have a 4:30pm delivery guarantee. 

Really remote areas may be as late as 6:00pm. 

So long as the animals have been packed correctly and temperature guidelines followed, these later delivery times aren’t harmful. 

So how do you know where your zip code falls on the FedEx delivery scale? 

Before you ever book your label, you can use the Quick Quote feature on the main page of both ShipYourReptiles and ShipYourAquatics. Fill in the origin and destination zip codes and box size, and you’ll see the GTA for that package. 

Your Guaranteed Time of Arrival will also show up during the Book A Shipment process.

Alternatively, you can use the FedEx Rates & Transit Tool on the FedEx website. 

Once your label has been ordered, you can find the GTA printed right on the label. 

If your delivery time is later than you are comfortable with, maybe because weather conditions are borderline safe or simply because you don’t want the animal bumping around in the back of a truck for so long, you can always opt to have the package held at the nearest FedEx hub. Doing so guarantees the earliest possible arrival time, so long as your customer is willing and able to get to the hub to pick it up.

Also, businesses often have morning drop-offs. If morning delivery is essential, consider sending your package to a business address, if at all possible. (A business conducted out of a home office is still considered a residential delivery.)

What about Alaska and Hawaii? 

  • Hawaii does not allow reptiles to be shipped in, and very limited fish.
  • Alaska has limited FedEx range, so special care needs to be taken when shipping there. 
  • Follow those two links for more information on both of those states. 

When you're shipping a live reptile, it's important that your recipient be available to receive your package, no matter when it arrives.

  • If you require delivery confirmation, the recipient must be alert, ready and waiting for the FedEx driver. You do not want the package going back onto the truck for delivery the next day.
  • If you do not require delivery confirmation, tell your recipient to check the front and back doors, the porch—all around the house—to make sure the package doesn't sit outside.

One more note about FedEx’s “guaranteed” delivery time. They apply a number of exceptions to that guarantee…one of which is that it does not apply to any live shipment. In fact, refunds for live shipments are specifically exempted in the Live Shipper Certification agreement: "Company agrees to waive any right to receive adjustments, refunds or credits under the Money Back Guarantee Policy as defined in the FedEx Service Guide in effect at the time of shipment."

This is why we offer our exclusive On-Time Insurance. For only $2.50, you can guarantee that arrival time and receive a full refund of the shipping cost of your label if the package is delivered late by even a single minute, according to the FedEx time stamps on the tracking info. Read more about our Insurance here.

As always, our Customer Service Desk is there to help you if you need any help tracking down delivery times or FedEx hubs.  Call 303-730-2125 or write to

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