iHerp Answers! mail us Problem? search Search       Create an Account, It's Free!
  Home > iHerp Answers > Shipping Snakes Across the US
Q: Shipping Snakes Across the US
Posted By:


I was wondering if any one knows who will ship snakes cross country? I am moving from Washington state to Texas and I can't seem to find anyone who will ship snakes Anyone have any advise? I have talked to UPS and FedEx and neither one ships them..Thank You

Points: 150
Topics: Knowledge Base
Tags: Shipping
Species: Pythons > Pythons > Python regius
Administrative: Show/Hide

Assisted Answer 12/5/2009 3:08:51 PM

shipyourreptiles works with ups i believe and they will. if you are registered or something with fedex they will to. i would just go with shipyourreptiles if you can't just take them with you yourself.
Accepted Answer 12/5/2009 7:43:20 PM

Actually, both UPS and fedex ship reptiles. It's just that their normal everyday employees don't have any idea about it and will automatically tell you no, they do not. UPS has a shipping site for herps called shipyourreptile.com. You can pay for the shipment online and book it right there for UPS. For fedex, you are supposed to go through a certification process, which, since shipyourreptile.com came out I have had absolutely no urge to even attempt. SYR saves you money anyways! And ever since fedex lied about dropping a box off at my house an hour before it actually arrived just so that it would *appear* on time, I don't trust them.
Member Comment 12/6/2009 8:53:38 AM

UPS thru Ship Your Reptiles.  Cheaper than FedEx unless you ship large amounts. 
Assisted Answer 12/6/2009 10:42:56 AM


It is a great service using UPS. I've used them close to 10 times and they did 100% each time. I would highly recommend it. FedEx also ships but you have to be a certified reptile shipper which can take weeks and even months to do. DeltaDash is another service through the airlines, you need to be certified and it costs much more. The only service you can't use for snakes is USPS - they will ship invertebrates, poultry, amphibians and lizards but no snakes.
Member Comment 12/6/2009 3:05:19 PM

I've used shipyourreptiles a few times myself and have had no problems other than the delivery end where they never knock on the door, or do a drop and run.  But you would have the same problem with that with any delivery service.    I've been satisfied and have had 100% success both receiving and shipping with this.
Assisted Answer 12/7/2009 6:03:51 AM

Fed Ex does ship snakes.  You need to get certified but if they're telling you they don't, then they are full of it.  Abi:  It is illegal to ship snakes thru UPS, USPS or any other carrier other than Fed Ex or Delta Dash.  I know SYS is using UPS but I've heard some horror stories because not all the UPS stations will accept them.  One of the guys I know had three rare morphs of ball python end up at the pound in Tennessee because UPS decided to check the packaging.  He had to go there and pay the fines to get them out and finally SYS got it sorted out.  Luckily the animals didn't die.  If you know someone who is certified thru Fed Ex, maybe they can ship for you or give you their number to use.
Assisted Answer 12/7/2009 7:25:07 AM

Some hubs of UPS refuse because they are privately owned - but going through SYR, you should be fine. BUT, always check with the hub. I've shipped to many states and my hub knows I'm shipping snakes and they are completely fine with it. Unfortunately, you will get UPS and Fedex reps who will tell you they don't ship snakes, because of certain hubs/workers/etc. It is what we have to deal with in this hobby.
Assisted Answer 12/7/2009 11:40:30 AM

I'm shocked to see so many UPS loyalists here and very glad to see Meg jumped on this one.  Beyond the incident she related, I have personally never had a good experience with UPS either receiving snakes or shipping anything inanimate.  I can think of several incidents just off the top of my head among friends and breeders I know where snakes have died in shipping due to delays and other SNAFUs on the part of UPS, whose customer service is about as pleasant to deal with as a drunk dentist.  Their company policy, at least in my experience, seems to be "treat the freight as carelessly as you please -- if it breaks, it's insured..." -- and then when you come to customer service kicking and screaming because they screwed up -- "...fight for every penny."  I swore off UPS a long time ago and will never use them again, even if it means spending a few extra bucks to ship Christmas gifts FedEx.

FedEx is slightly more expensive for a reason.  I've found their efficiency and accountability to be unsurpassed, and it's the reason I use them exclusively as part of a strict shipping system which hasn't failed me yet (knocking on wood).  Feel free to email me at brad "at" waffahousereptiles "dot" com and I can send you the paperwork you need to read and submit to become a certified shipper through FedEx.  Good luck!
Assisted Answer 12/7/2009 12:53:24 PM

UPS "lost" my leopard gecko for a day.  Needless to say, I am not their biggest fan. 
Assisted Answer 12/7/2009 1:14:33 PM

Yep, though shipyourreptiles.com uses UPS, I find it much too difficult when it comes to most UPS depots refusing the shipment if they know it's a snake.

I ship with FedEx and have NO issues whatsoever. I use the depot at the Airport and they actually like snakes there.

mytwoloves - what animals are you looking to ship? You will either want someone here to ship them once you arrive, or have them sent to a friend before you leave. I'm about 10 min away from SeaTac and would be happy to help out if needed.
Assisted Answer 12/7/2009 1:23:11 PM

The problem is, your package is at the mercy of a whole lot of different individual people.  The stories about "drop and run" are mostly your local delivery guy not caring about what he's delivering.  I've met both my FedEx and my UPS delivery guy in person, chatted with them a minute about cute little geckos, and they now ring my doorbell and wait for me.  So it all depends on who you've got in the area...

I've been on both the shipping and receiving end and prefer FedEx because they will deliver earlier.  But you pay a bit more for that.  In my opinion, my animal's life is worth the extra $10 or whatever extra charge for Early AM delivery.  My only complaint with ShipYourReptiles is that you can't choose time of delivery.  It gets there when it get's there, and that's that.
Member Comment 12/7/2009 7:07:33 PM

To be fair, I've had my share of problems with Fed Ex over the years as well. There is no perfect system and I can tell you that dealing with some of the Fed Ex people is like the drunk dentist too.  I had a shipment of 3 snakes delayed at their Memphis facility and I actually had one of the reps ask me how long I thought the snakes would live.....huh!!!????  Well if you could tell me exactly where they are, how high the temperatures were etc. I may be able to give you a rough estimate.  Then they told me not to worry....I'd get my money back...as if that was all that I wanted!  Luckily the snakes arrived alive and well the following day, but I was pissed. At least I know that it is legal for the company...the whole company to ship the snakes unlike UPS who has a company policy of no snakes that SYS has kind of, sort of, worked around...kind of.....
Member Comment 12/9/2009 5:42:42 PM

I just shipped a baby corn snake through SYR/UPS and, uhh... lets say im really not happy..  everything was fine until i got to the drop off spot, and i gave the box to the guy *intentionally gently* and he spun the damn thing around between his fingers!  He sure got a piece of my mind....

then there was *2* delays and on top of all that, they did a drop and run..  its a good thing that i was talking with the person i shipped to and they were watching out for the snake.

man, ill never use SYR again.  id better get FedEx approved..
Member Comment 12/9/2009 7:29:48 PM

Iashia - Unfortunately EVERY box that goes through, whether it be SYR/UPS, FedEx, what have you, is going to be thrown around, spun around, dropped, etc. These people do not read the boxes they are shipping when they have hundreds of other boxes to move. It sucks, but that is reality. I guarantee you the FedEx workers treat their boxes the same as the UPS guys.
Assisted Answer 12/9/2009 8:08:31 PM

At least my Fed Ex driver doesn't spin it around on his fingers in front of me.  He always takes great care with my boxes when i give it to him.  It may not be treated gently after that (although it's listed as a live animal) when it leaves him, but at least he respects me as a customer enough not to do what that guy did to Iashia.
Assisted Answer 12/9/2009 8:11:33 PM

I do agree there, Meg, I was just saying that it is going to happen regardless. If you don't want your animal thrown around, shipping probably isn't for you. My UPS guys are always gentle and friendly with my boxes. I'm not going to say every single UPS guy is good because mine are, but I will say that in every company you will have your bad apples.
Member Comment 12/9/2009 8:18:09 PM

yea, all shipments are like that unfortunatly.  if i could afford it, id drive everyone i sell to their new homes personally.  i wish there was a company JUST for shipping reptiles, with climate controlled trucks and people who KNOW that they are shipping live, sometimes delicate animals.  maybe there willbe one day
Assisted Answer 12/9/2009 8:19:38 PM

That would be awesome, but I don't think it will happen unfortunately :( Especially the way things are going as far as the govt. trying to take our snakes away.
Member Comment 12/13/2009 4:17:27 PM

i know.  personally, even IF they do, im not gonna give them up!  ill leave the country!  they would have to restrain me and hope that i dont get out and rip them apart if they ever tried to take my babies.
Assisted Answer 6/30/2011 1:47:00 AM


I know this is old but wanted to add to it for future reference:

Shipyourreptiles.com now ships through FedEx.

ReptilesExpress.com also ships through FedEx, and they are my go-to guys for shipping. Deb (customer service rep) is AWESOME and their prices cannot be beat.

Assisted Answer 6/30/2011 4:48:44 AM


When did that happen?  I've not received any notice from SYR....except to say that they would not ship snakes thru UPS.  Any other reptile, yes....which is legal with them.  I'll have to look into that as well.  I'm already a certified shipper but if I were at a show across country, that might be helpful.

Assisted Answer 6/30/2011 4:51:06 AM


I would recommend ReptilesExpress over SYR personally... But either offers a decent service, RE is just cheaper (like 10-20% cheaper) and I like their customer service rep, she rocks. :) But SYR switched to FedEx after the falling out with UPS, it's been a few months :)

You are not logged in. If you would like to participate (it's free!), you must log in, or Become a Member!

Leaders Last 30 Days
1 Sonja K. Reptiles 655
2 Ratman 240
Page 1
Member Login
Forgot My Password
Copyright ©2008, All Rights Reserved. iHerp, LLC | Terms of Use 4/20/2018 12:16:11 PM |