Q: Can you ship any way other than UPS overnight?
A: Short answer. No.
UPS is the fastest and safest way to ship your live animal. UPS also has the best tracking system in the industry including (in some areas) a ‘follow my package’ option that uses real time GPS tracking of the actual truck your package is on.
By working directly with UPS I receive a discounted rate and I forward that discount directly to you when I quote your rate. If at any time you believe the shipping rate is overpriced, I highly encourage you to visit the UPS site and enter the same information I am using to ship your package (to/from address, dimensions, weight, etc.). You will see you are provided with a very reasonable rate. This also gives me direct access to my own dedicated UPS representative who has detailed information and access to my specific account & specific packages. This rep can directly communicate with the different UPS hubs around the country. This a service that cannot be matched by third party providers such as Ship Station or Pirate Ship that while offering deep discounts your package is then on a shared account with no direct access to UPS.
UPS does offer flat rate shipping that some of my competitors may be using. I as a company do not qualify for flat rate and therefore, I cannot offer it. Packing medium to large sized cichlids and catfish is different than packing tetras, guppies, or small dry goods like food or plants. Due to the way I pack your fish I use extremely specific shipping materials that do not fit into the UPS, FedEx, or the USPS(post office) flat rate specific packages. While USPS is very affordable, it is also the most unreliable. The USPS tracking system is antiquated and often not updated at all until after the package has been delivered. They do not have a next day delivery service. Anything more than 1-day shipping is borderline cruel and is risky to the health of your live animal. FedEx has a 'no live animal' policy that may or may not be enforced at any given facility. That is a concern because some packages can and have been returned due to the company policy.
I pack in a way to be the most efficient use of the space in order to keep the shipping costs down while the fish are safe and comfortably packed. In almost all cases your fish are individually packed versus multiple fish to a bag either squeezed into or rolling around in an incorrectly sized container. Your fish are precisely packed so that they can be placed in an appropriate position whether it needs to be packed vertical or horizontal, comfortable, safe from being tormented by other fish during transit, and outside weather condition specific. No space is ever wasted, while at the same time the fish are not cramped or squished. I pride myself and have the reputation for the best packing in the entire industry!
Airport-to-Airport (Air Cargo) is possible in some cases but before asking please read all the Shipping information on this website. It is not the fastest method and if you are receiving 1 box in any size it is likely I will not accommodate this method of shipping. This method of shipping is almost exclusive to large wholesale orders. Air Cargo is not always faster. In nearly all cases from NJ/NY the boxes need to be at the airport 4-6 hours before the flight. Flights are often very early in the morning so the boxes are packed the afternoon before and dropped off at the airport that evening where they will sit overnight to get on the early morning flight. Almost always, the box will have a layover and flight transfer and will not be in your possession for hours after a UPS delivery would have already arrived to your doorstep.
I ship and receive 1,000's of fish a year. Transit times and handling is the most stressful part of my job. Once a package is in the hands of the courier systems ANYTHING can and likely will be happening to them. The longer in transit the more chance of something going bad. These boxes are being thrown, dropped, kicked, knocked over, shook up, left on runways and loading docks in cold and hot weather for hours at a time. UPS is the safest and fastest method.