A R2R Care Spotlight: "Shipping Methods"

ficklefins

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Building on the current Care Spotlight section I am joining all the great shipping threads recently posted on Club-Zoa. Check out the new Spotlight section on Club-Zoa!
Spotlight Section:
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Shipping Methods



One of the most asked about aspects of Zoanthid keeping is "What is the best way to ship frags?". As with most things techniques change with the seasons and during the colder months there are more variables in the equation. Luckily for Club-Zoa members there have been some great threads started lately describing the traditional method and the newer method of damp shipping.

Traditional Method:

Damp Shipping Method:

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Traditional Method: Thank you Pookstreet for the following info and pics:

-Here is the box lined with 3/4" styro. You can get a 4'x8' sheet from HD for like $8 or so. (IMAGE 1)

-The heat pack is taped to the lid to keep it away from the frags as much as possible. I want to keep the interior warm, but don't want to boil the bags. (IMAGE 2)

-The zoa frag is rolled up in a smaller bag with slits cut into the sides to allow water to get in. (IMAGE 3)

-It is then double bagged with some water. (IMAGE 4)

-I usually put 2 more bags on top of that. Bags are cheap (IMAGE 5)

-All the frags are snuggly placed into the box. (IMAGE 6)

-Fill up the remaining space with peanuts, bubble wrap, empty blown up bags, etc. (IMAGE 7)

-And the lid goes on. Voila. Another package on it's way. (IMAGE 8 )



For full size images and more info click here Traditional Method:

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Damp Shipping Method: Thank you Bryan for the following info and pics:

- Start with non-printed or scented paper towels. (IMAGE 1)

- Nice and clean styro lined box. (IMAGE 2)

- Line and pad bottom with newspaper so to reduce the frag bags from moving. (IMAGE 3)

- Label bags for customer with frag names, even in a trade this is a nice courtesy.
- Get out a dry paper towel and fold it over in half.

- Lay paper towel across water for 3-4 seconds to soak. (IMAGE 4)

-Gently squeeze out excess water, but leave slightly "drippy".

- Lay frag in lower section, preparing for roll up. (IMAGE 5)

- Gently roll up like a burrito.
- Once rolled, fold over end.

- Then fold over other side. (IMAGE 6)

- Drop into properly labeled bag.
- Fill bag with air to keep it full and secure end with a rubberband.
- Wash, rinse, repeat until all frags for order are bagged.
- Then place two bagged frags into a larger outer bag for added protection.

- I end up with 2 bags, each containing 2 frags. (IMAGE 7)

- Place into shipping box. (IMAGE 8 )

- Surround and cover/pad with additional newspaper.
- Get heat pack ready.
- A couple shakes and squeezes to activate, give the heat pack a little bit of time to heat up.
- Lay on newspaper to wrap heat pack, same burrito roll.
- Finish wrap and label heat pack with Sharpie.
- Place on top of packing, or tape to lid, your preference.
- Place lid on cooler.
- Tape up securely.
- Apply label and you are done except for dropping off at PO/UPS/FedEx.


For full size images and more info click here Damp Shipping Method:
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Make sure to check out the linkes below for all the great comments and methods that other members use. This Spotlight was only a wrap up of the great photos and explanations left by Pookstreet and Bryan. Thanks!
Traditional Method:

Damp Shipping Method:
 
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REEF2REEF

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0o0o0

This one should be a sticky :D
Nice walkthrough guide
Trying to keep the sickies to a minimum, but their is a link to all the spotlights on the left side of the homepage. (www.club-zoa.com) I'll get this one up added tonight.


Awsome spotlight ficklefins. :headbang:
 

REEF2REEF

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I use these boxes for 2 day usps thermos swaps. Somebody (not me) came up with the idea of turning these boxes inside out so they are just plain and can ship with any vendor. You can go to the usps website and order these boxes in packs of 25 and then will deliver them right to your house for a FREE....





 
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mecold

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Awsome info guys! One of the most useful threads I have seen on shipping yet. One question though as I got hammered by steven pro for suggesting the use of styro sheets cut to fit vs a two piece styro cooler type shipper. Has anyone noticed any problems using the cut styro sheets vs a cooler type as fas as temp insulation. If not, I can really save some cash on shipping supplies.
 

weimers75

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Any recommendations on heat packs? I have shipped using 40+ hour heat packs, but I always wonder whether they actually keep them warm. The packs don't seem to get that hot after I shake them and tape them to the lid.
 

JGoslee

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This really helps me out. Ive never shipped in the winter months and was trying to figure out where to place the heat pack. Great thread guys!
 

pookstreet

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Awsome info guys! One of the most useful threads I have seen on shipping yet. One question though as I got hammered by steven pro for suggesting the use of styro sheets cut to fit vs a two piece styro cooler type shipper. Has anyone noticed any problems using the cut styro sheets vs a cooler type as fas as temp insulation. If not, I can really save some cash on shipping supplies.

As far as I know, styro sheets cut to fit has worked rather well for me, as long as there are no major gaps at the seams where you can put a finger through. Small gaps are not a problem. I have had 20 hour heat packs in these that were delivered late instead of overnight and they were still warm after 2 days. Just make sure to use the 3/4" or 1" styro. The 1/2" is too thin IMO.
 

pookstreet

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Any recommendations on heat packs? I have shipped using 40+ hour heat packs, but I always wonder whether they actually keep them warm. The packs don't seem to get that hot after I shake them and tape them to the lid.

I use UniHeat heat packs and buy them from Kensfish.com. I typically use the 20+ for overnight, 40+ for 2 day Priority, or the 60 hour packs in some rare instances.

Trust me, once the packs are in the box, they'll warm it up pretty well. Just compare the temperature of the tank water to the heat pack temp. You don't want it to heat up too much or you'll cook the frags. I always make sure the keep the heat packs as far away from the frags as possible, unless the box is really big.
 

bryan

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First off, big props to Fickle for the awsome woork on this thread!

Cut styro I'll take anyday over two piece coolers taped shut. Reason being is I've received plenty of packages in the "ProPack" coolers, taped shut.

Heat packs need oxygen to work.

Taped coolers run out of O2 very fast.

Heat packs have been cold on almost every occasion.

By cutting styro, you can acheive a very nice snug fit, but are still allowing the exchange of O2 so crucial to a heat packs ability to heat properly.

In the dead of summer, with ice packs, you can get away with a taped cooler...but for the cost, not worth it to me.

I've shipped too many boxes to count, all with cut 3/4" styro. I prefer the packs of 6 sheets of 4' x 14" x 3/4" used for vinyl siding. You can get 2 cooler boxes per sheet, for a total of 12 coolers worth of styro for about 6 bux!

So, .50 cents a cooler + .25 - .50 per box depending o nthe quantity you buy. Equals safe shipping year round and no silly 6-12 dollar box charges.

Don't worry about Steven there Pook, just the way he is.

Peace, Bryan


edit - oops, I meant mecold, not Pook :)
 
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mecold

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Thanks for the info! I have got frags and such shipped both ways. The main advantage to the cooler type is that when taped shut, water will not leak out of it. But like you said, I too have noticed heat packs cold every time. Thanks Bryan!
 

Stixbaraca

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The flat rate boxes are a great idea from USPS...and can be gotten for free from the website. Just make sure to get a roll of the Priority stickers as well to stick over all the flat rate signs on the box. The flat rate is around $8 while most Priority shipping scenarios is under $5.
 

Mr. Ugly

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Re heat packs. Yah, I make sure the box is not air tight if I'm using a heat pack.
 

MarvinsReef

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Re heat packs. Yah, I make sure the box is not air tight if I'm using a heat pack.
does this mean don't stuff it with peanuts or paper? I just normally use newspapers as my insulation and not so packed... I've had great success with this method so far this year..
 

MarvinsReef

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I've shipped too many boxes to count, all with cut 3/4" styro. I prefer the packs of 6 sheets of 4' x 14" x 3/4" used for vinyl siding. You can get 2 cooler boxes per sheet, for a total of 12 coolers worth of styro for about 6 bux!

So, .50 cents a cooler + .25 - .50 per box depending o nthe quantity you buy. Equals safe shipping year round and no silly 6-12 dollar box charges.

Peace, Bryan
can I get these styro sheets at Home Depot or special order them somewhere?
 

pookstreet

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can I get these styro sheets at Home Depot or special order them somewhere?
HD or Lowes. Look in the insulation section. I get them in the regular 4'x8' sheets. Didn't see the smaller ones that Bryan mentioned. Those would be easier to lug around if I could find them. I normally just cut the large sheets into 3 sections and stuff them in the back seat of my car.
 

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