A Question For My Fellow Fish Shippers... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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A Question For My Fellow Fish Shippers...

This is something Iv been debating with myself for a while about and I know plenty of people on here also ship fish so do you label your boxes as Live Fish or not? I normally don't simply because I don't really trust the postal workers to not take "special" care of it, kind of like marking something fragile, just to receive it all screwed up. During winter I just mark the boxes "do not leave outside / do not let freeze" just in the hopes they won't get left on someones porch. I havent had any major losses from shipping so far, just like a fish on maybe a couple shipments but the vast majority of the time they ship perfectly.

So do you mark your packages or not? Have you found any advantage / disadvantage to marking them?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 05:41 PM
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Hi amp,
I've shipped many fish shipments. For USPS Priority, I'm in a habit of labeling them "Live Fish", but no longer mark my Express shipments.

For Express USPS shipments, I've stopped marking "Live Fish" on the box, and have asked the counter USPS clerk to stamp them perishable/fragile. Why do I no longer mark USPS Express boxes as "live fish"? It's because USPS Express can rely on commercial airlines to take the boxes from airport to airport in cargo. And some commercial airlines will not accept tropical fish or various other reptiles/fish/etc. So as I have read and understand, it's the commercial airlines' right to deny a USPS Express box in cargo if they have any reason to believe the shipment contains something on their prohibited list. Has nothing to do with USPS at that point, and I do not want to risk a box being rejected and delayed until it can get matched up with an airline that will take it.

I'll still mark "Live Fish" on the Priority boxes because I actually do have faith that USPS people are not heartless jerks, and that they will try to take care of a shipment. I do not expect for USPS priority packages to possibly rely on commercial airlines for transport like they might with Express service. I generally expect that USPS folks will handle the package start-to-finish and figure if it's marked and it catches their eye, they'll handle it more carefully.

Just my opinion. :-)
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:52 PM
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When I walked out to my mail carrier's truck one day to hand receive a package of live fish, he asked what was so urgent. I told him there were live fish in the box and he said "oh really?" and gave it a couple good shakes... It kind of pissed me off to be honest.

Most USPS carriers are probably nice people, but some probably take the boxes marked "fragile" or "live animals" and kick them around a few times just for fun. It makes me cringe to think about it.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Very interesting about the express mail, I didnt know they used commercial airlines. Maybe thats why the last couple times I send an express package it took as long/longer than priority.

I totally know what you mean Storm, I got a box that was smashed, leaking and clearly marked LIVE FISH. Lately I have been thinking about labeling my shipments in the hopes that most people would be more gentle with them, but the few jack-holes out there make me a little leery.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 02:52 AM
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For priority, I mark them live and take them into the PO and tell them that there is fish, water or plants in the box. At first they were really cautious and read the documention carefully and asked a bunch of questions. Now, they are really friendly, and know me as that "live fish" girl. I've never had them shake a box in front of me. If they did that, I'd call the post master and complain. Truthfully, most of the workers are really great with live packages. Never shipped express, but I was told by my local office that the plane they take the packages to will often send them back and not ship them so they don't even let us send them express.

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