How steep is the shipping live coral learning curve?

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I'd like to hear from all of those who ship regularly, have shipped or will NEVER ship again! I'm curious how steep the learning curve will be if I decide to start shipping. I've been tempted to try it for some time but there seems like there are so many variables when shipping live coral. I'm an acropora nut, so if anyone has any specific tips or things I need to consider when shipping acropora please let me know.

1. Are there specific times of the year you ship? Or will you ship year round?
2. Is there a specific shipping company you use? I've seen sub sites that allow you to ship at their discounted price, anyone use those? Who's the best?
3. What "pro" or vendor ships the best? Or was it a hobbyist? What makes them the best?
4. Did you do some test runs with reef pals or just go for it?
5. Feel free to share your shipping protocol: packaging materials and techniques, best drop off times ect, that'd be awesome.

DOA policies seem super short for the most part. This has me wondering if a lot of people have had poor experiences as the seller? Or is this just a copy paste monkey see monkey do type situation?


Thanks,

Matt
 

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I'd like to hear from all of those who ship regularly, have shipped or will NEVER ship again! I'm curious how steep the learning curve will be if I decide to start shipping. I've been tempted to try it for some time but there seems like there are so many variables when shipping live coral. I'm an acropora nut, so if anyone has any specific tips or things I need to consider when shipping acropora please let me know.

1. Are there specific times of the year you ship? Or will you ship year round?
2. Is there a specific shipping company you use? I've seen sub sites that allow you to ship at their discounted price, anyone use those? Who's the best?
3. What "pro" or vendor ships the best? Or was it a hobbyist? What makes them the best?
4. Did you do some test runs with reef pals or just go for it?
5. Feel free to share your shipping protocol: packaging materials and techniques, best drop off times ect, that'd be awesome.

DOA policies seem super short for the most part. This has me wondering if a lot of people have had poor experiences as the seller? Or is this just a copy paste monkey see monkey do type situation?


Thanks,

Matt
The curve is very steep these days with Covid-19. FEDEX has totally dropped the ball for MANY vendors. They cost me over 10K in dead corals in the month of May alone. Honestly I would wait to start until the next wave of the Delta variant has finished wreaking it's havoc on the country. That being said these would be my answers:

1. Are there specific times of the year you ship? Or will you ship year round?

I ship year round, but this is what I do for a living, it's not a side hustle for me. If I was to select the best times to ship it's spring and fall without a doubt.

2. Is there a specific shipping company you use? I've seen sub sites that allow you to ship at their discounted price, anyone use those? Who's the best?

Lot's of 3rd party shippers. They are great for low volume shipping like most hobbyists. Ship Your Aquatics is good.

3. What "pro" or vendor ships the best? Or was it a hobbyist? What makes them the best?

Epic Aquaculture without a doubt :) Most vendors who have done it a while have it down to a science. Experience makes them the best.

4. Did you do some test runs with reef pals or just go for it?

The biggest issue I have found is temperature, so I shipped bags of water to some people to have them check the arrival temp for me and adjusted my protocols accordingly.

5. Feel free to share your shipping protocol: packaging materials and techniques, best drop off times ect, that'd be awesome.

Drop off as late as possible so the animals are bagged for as short of time as possible. Do not skimp on packaging. Use the thickest insulated boxes (don't make your own out f insulation foam from HD for example). Use larger boxes than necessary so that you can have a larger volume of water in the bags. Don't try to save $10 by cramming them into the smallest box possible. It's always going to be a gamble but you will learn the most from experience.
 
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The curve is very steep these days with Covid-19. FEDEX has totally dropped the ball for MANY vendors. They cost me over 10K in dead corals in the month of May alone. Honestly I would wait to start until the next wave of the Delta variant has finished wreaking it's havoc on the country. That being said these would be my answers:

1. Are there specific times of the year you ship? Or will you ship year round?

I ship year round, but this is what I do for a living, it's not a side hustle for me. If I was to select the best times to ship it's spring and fall without a doubt.

2. Is there a specific shipping company you use? I've seen sub sites that allow you to ship at their discounted price, anyone use those? Who's the best?

Lot's of 3rd party shippers. They are great for low volume shipping like most hobbyists. Ship Your Aquatics is good.

3. What "pro" or vendor ships the best? Or was it a hobbyist? What makes them the best?

Epic Aquaculture without a doubt :) Most vendors who have done it a while have it down to a science. Experience makes them the best.

4. Did you do some test runs with reef pals or just go for it?

The biggest issue I have found is temperature, so I shipped bags of water to some people to have them check the arrival temp for me and adjusted my protocols accordingly.

5. Feel free to share your shipping protocol: packaging materials and techniques, best drop off times ect, that'd be awesome.

Drop off as late as possible so the animals are bagged for as short of time as possible. Do not skimp on packaging. Use the thickest insulated boxes (don't make your own out f insulation foam from HD for example). Use larger boxes than necessary so that you can have a larger volume of water in the bags. Don't try to save $10 by cramming them into the smallest box possible. It's always going to be a gamble but you will learn the most from experience.
Awesome response! Thank you SawCJack00 for the detailed reply and sorry to hear about that loss in May, that's huge. Hopefully they get their stuff together soon as I'm seeing post after post of lost or delayed packages. With loss I'm guessing they take no responsibly for the delay or loss?

I'll be checking out Epic Aquaculture once the new tanks up and I have room.

Thanks again,

Matt
 
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SawCJack00

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Awesome response! Thank you SawCJack00 for the detailed reply and sorry to hear about that loss in May, that's huge. Hopefully they get their stuff together soon as I'm seeing post after post of lost or delayed packages. With loss I'm guessing they take no responsibly for the delay or loss?

I'll be checking out Epic Aquaculture once the new tanks up and I have room.

Thanks again,

Matt
That's correct, they take no responsibility at all for any losses right now due to Covid-19. They have a disclaimer on their site saying basically ship at your own risk...
 
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