1. Gather your shipping supplies.
ShipYourAquatics.com shipping kits contain everything you need:
• Insulated box of the appropriate size
• Fish bags and portion cups
• Fish bag liners
• Rubber bands
• Heat pack
• Cold pack
• Self adhering label envelope
• ShipYourAquatics.com Shipping Tips and Quick Referral sheet
• Harmless LIVE ANIMAL label for the interior of your box (included in above link)
You provide the packing material (usually crumpled newspaper).
You may use your own supplies, but they must meet or exceed ShipYourAquatics.com Shipping Standards.
Start your heat pack two hours before shipping. More info on heat pack use.
Freeze your cold pack overnight. More info
2. Prepare the shipping box
Insert the insulating foam panels on the bottom and sides of your box if necessary.
Ventilate the box by punching four 1/4" holes with a Philips screwdriver (two holes on opposing sides). Punch them from the outside in, going through the box and the insulating foam. Do this before you put anything else (especially your bags of water) in the box.
3. Create a nest with packing material
Crumpled newspaper works well. Line the bottom and sides of the box so the fish bag(s) will rest securely in the nest.
Not all shipments require a heat pack! In fact, most do not need them. Please refer to our Temperature Guidelines to determine whether or not your package needs one. If you do use a heat pack, please read the following carefully: Tape the heat pack to the underside of your lid, red line visible. Do not tape over the red line. Don’t use a heat pack that feels hard or stiff. The red line should face the interior of the box.
5 Critical Points for Heat Pack Use
A. Heat packs should never come into direct contact with the animal bag/container.
B. There should always be crumpled newspaper or other packaging material between the heat pack and animal bag/container.
C. Heat pack should never be placed under an animal bag/container, as it will result in high likelihood of DOA
D. Heat pack should be taped securely to underside of the styrofoam lid.
E. We do not recommend heat pack use in any box smaller than the 12x9x6. If you need a heat pack with your shipment, you should use the 12x9x6 box or larger.
4. Prepare the fish bag
Inspect the bag to make sure there are no cracks, holes or weak spots.
Double up the bag by placing one bag inside another before filling with water.
Using a Sharpie pen, label the bag with species and sex.
5. Inspect the animal
Absolutely NO VENOMOUS REPTILES are to be shipped through FedEx or ShipYourAquatics.com. Absolutely no mammals.
Only ship a healthy animal, with good weight.
Be 100% confident in the animal you’re shipping. Go over it in detail, so you know exactly what your customer will see when opening the package.
6. Put the animal into the container
Make sure the air:water ratio is sufficient to supply oxygyn for the duration of the shipment and enough water volume to not be overwhelmed with waste.
Bag—Inspect the bag to be sure there are no holes or weak seams. MUST be DOUBLE BAGGED. Secure the top with a tight twist, fold, and snug rubber band.
Bag liner - If shipping a particularly spikey fish or coral, insert a bag liner into the bottom of the doubled fish bags. This provides a critical extra layer of protection against punctures. Bag liners may appear black in our photos, but they will be CLEAR in your kit or supply order.
7. Put the container in the box
Nestle the bag into the nesting material. The container should not have room to jostle inside the box.
Put on the top insulating foam panel/lid, with the heat pack or cold pack (if needed) facing down.
Put your receipt, caresheet and other paperwork on top of the insulating foam lid. Place your harmless WILDLIFE label—the one that comes with your shipping kit—on top, with the duplicate shipping address in the space provided. This harmless WILDLIFE note should be the first thing a person sees when opening the box. If your harmless WILDLIFE label has been lost or damaged, you can download another here.
8. Label your package in accordance with the federal Lacey Act
You are required to mark the outside of the package with a complete list of the animal(s) inside, including quantities, common names and scientific names. A Lacey Act/IATA label must also be included. These can be ordered from SYR/SYA as stickers, or you can print your own on plain paper and tape it to the box. More info on the Lacey Act here.
9. Fasten the label and ship
If you haven’t already done so, enter your package and shipping info into ShipYourAquatics.com and purchase your shipping label.
You can print your shipping label from the ShipYourAquatics.com site or from your confirmation email.
If you are using a thermal label printer, the label will be self-adhesive. If you print your label on regular paper, place your label inside the provided label pouch and affix the self adhesive pouch to the top of your shipping box.
We recommend dropping your package off at the actual FedEx facility. FedEx Office locations are not recommended, as many of those locations do not accept live or perishable shipments for drop off or pickup.
Find a FedEx Facility location here. Use the Filter and select the "Dangerous Goods" filter to weed out everything except the actual FedEx facilities.
You can track your package progress using your FedEx tracking number on the home page of ShipYourAquatics.com.
If you have any questions or issues with your shipment, please contact us directly. You are a ShipYourAquatics.com client, not a direct FedEx client, and we will help you answer questions, clarify tracking or process claims. You can call us at 303 730-2125 or email us at Info@ShipYourAquatics.com.