08-25-2008, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Round Rock, TX
| | Re: Shipping plants methods?
I work for FedEx assisting customers with packaging among other things. We ship thousands of lbs of fresh flowers, fresh fish, chocolate, steaks and other perishable products like medication. The only way to maintain reasonable temperature is to use foam coolers and a gel pad to maintain to keep the plants damp.
If you want to test your packaging, pack some plants and leave them in your unaircondtioned garage for 1-5 days. Open the box and see what condition the plant is in. If you ship ground which is cheapest way, transit times in the lower 48 range from next day to 5 days.
Ship your plants on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. If you ship Ground to a lot of destinations on Thursday or Friday the package will spend a weekend in a trailer or unairconditioned warehouse.
Don't recycle boxes, cardboard looses a significant amount of it's strength with every use. Buy new boxes. Consider double boxing fragile plants. Ziplock bags are great for keeping boxes dry.
Foam cooolers are not expensive and can be found used at grocery stores, meat markets flower shops usually for the asking. I have also used foam panels from Home Depot to make my own custom boxes.
Shipping by air is much faster and more expensive but your pkg gets handled less and probably wont get crushed. Many shippers in TX, AZ, NM, NV and other hot states wont ship anything perishable using Ground in the summer months. Too many losses due to extreme heat.
Use email shipment notification to let the buyer know when to expect the plants. UPS, USPS and FedEx will leave boxes outside or behind a gate. More exposure to heat, cold, kids and dogs.
If you label your shipments as plants be aware that some states have restrictions on some aquatic plants because of invasive species. Your package may be opened, inspected and or destroyed.
Consider FedExHome Delivery which is Tuesday-- Saturday until 8pm. You have a much better chance of getting someone at home that 8-5 M--F which is what FedEx Ground and UPS offer for not a lot more money. BTW DHL transit times are getting much longer these days to the western US since their restructuring. Each carrier can give you a pretty good estimate on transit times on their websites.