Shipping becoming an issue?

In the last two weeks I’ve order a ball python and a beardy. Both were late by a day due to Fed ex being behind.

I know there are becoming more and more breeders lately and not many shipping options for live reptiles.

What does the future hold for us breeders? Selling locally isn’t going to keep paying the bills.

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Shipping has been affected heavily by COVID-19, especially due to the rise of online shopping as people work from home more and avoid crowded areas, such as stores. This is why many breeders are only shipping hub to hub right now. Shipping to residential addresses has been routinely unreliable for over a year.

I don’t anticipate any long-term issues, and especially not with volume of live animals being shipped. FedEx is a huge company with massive infrastructure, at the end of the day live animal shipping is a drop in the bucket for the amount of business they do.


It’s scary to see how many animals are being delayed or killed via FedEx.

I shipped one snake over the summer and it delayed a day and the heat killed it.

I have one right now that was delayed and I’m afraid it may freeze.

Saw a NERD YouTube video and Kevin mentioned he had shipping delays that killed his snakes.

Now I’m like, do I stop breeding until this crap is over?

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Personally I wouldn’t be shipping. If I had animals that needed sold I would be doing as many in-person sales as possible (expos, social media, etc.). I had a 3-day insect shipment (not through Fedex) shipped Thursday that’s supposed to be arriving tomorrow or the day after.

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I’m just a private breeder but I cannot imagine what the big breeders who need sales are doing. Local sales only goes so far.

Anyone else experiencing poor results from shipping.


This isn’t a new issue and most of us have just shifted to packing more carefully and suspending shipping during extreme temperatures. Since the COVID lockdown in early 2020 probably 30% of my packages incoming or outgoing have spent an extra day in transit. Anything that goes through Memphis seems to have a 50/50 chance of being delayed. Sacramento has split their duties among smaller hubs to try and speed things up but now they just spend an extra day in Oakland :man_shrugging:


The holiday peak season just started this last Sunday, my fiancé got a job at a FedEx Ground package handling facility and it’s been horribly backed up there. Packages getting destroyed and them having to just not worry about it because they’re so behind on getting trailers loaded up. Not to mention they’re horribly understaffed so that’s slowing things down even more.

I know reptiles don’t go through FedEx Ground specifically but I can only imagine how backed up other facilities are if this is the case at the one he works at.


Well thank you…. Looks like I’ll be figuring all this in for future shipments. Again I’m a small time breeder and didn’t have much production this year so I hardly shipped.

This opens my eyes up for sure, thank you

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I get it, I don’t ship animals all that often either since I’m also a small breeder.
It’s things like this that makes me want to relook into my idea I had with a reptile-specific shipping company, though it would definitely need some work.

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It’s definitely a great idea. It would certainly set priority with the industry

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FedEx will have delays probably until 2023. The backlog, let alone the employee turn around/openings is the reason for the delay. So much freight but not enough people to handle it.

Here’s a shipping experience I just had about a month and a half ago occur:


I’ve been shipping out all season and only experienced one real shipping issue. I shipped out three snakes on a Tuesday for Wednesday delivery. All three snakes were each going to a separate location. A proven breeder male was going to Chicago, another to New Jersey, and a “hatchling” was going to Louisiana (I’m in Texas). I have the “hatchling” in quotes because I count anything <300g as a hatchling.

Well my hatchling was the only one to get re-routed and then eventually lost. Instead of going to Louisiana it went to Indiana and then sat there. The snake delivered the follow Monday. SIX DAYS LATER. Everyone, including my husband, believed the snake was going to be dead. I didn’t. Well the lady went to go pickup the snake from her hub and low and behold - it was ALIVE. He lived! I had not packaged a hot or cold pack with him - so how come he was alive?

He was alive because I fed him. He ate every 5 days, regardless of already being sold, until the seller was able to have the time and space to have him shipped to her. He left a little under 200 grams. I know a lot of sellers who have started to not ship hatchlings until they are over 100 grams and I just want to note this is the reason why. I had several babies come in under <70 grams when I first started and they were a PAIN to even get to eat, and I swore I would never be a breeder like that.

So for people who are thinking about shipping or might be shipping next season - feed your snakes. A day delay is unlikely to kill a snake, a week can. Be confident with your animals when you ship them.



I’m definitely keeping all of this in mind, thank you