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Nanci 06-06-2009 09:36 AM

Fed Ex Shipping Certification Procedure
(I'm reposting this with tags so hopefully it will be easy for someone to search for in the future!)

1. Applied for account on-line. This involved giving them a credit card number, and them charging me $10. This took less than one day.

2. They gave me the name of my account rep the day I applied. I got through to his voice mail.

3. Account rep called me on my home phone, of course when I wasn't home, but he left his e-mail address and direct phone number. This took a couple days.

4. I e-mailed back, saying who I was, and what I was up to.

5. I looked at the instructions on the Fed Ex site for shipping reptiles, and copied their directions with my test package exactly. I printed out the test package form and sent it off. The person at the test package phone number told me to send it "Charge to recepient" and that there was no account number. The Fed Ex hub thought there should be an account number, but they took it anyway.

Test package form:

6. The test package passed, and the testing center e-mailed me the results. I sent it on Monday, I had the results Friday.

7. I contacted my rep with the results, and he has contacted the legal department, and that is as far as I am. That happened within an hour.

8. Two weeks later, my rep e-mailed me the liability waiver, which I signed and faxed back to him. The liability waiver basically states that they are not responsible for loss for any reason, and that you are not to expect them to be or try to file a claim, and that you must ship Express only and not over a weekend or holiday period.

9. Same day the rep faxed a copy of the packaging report and the waiver to the animal desk. They will then add my name and acct number to the list of
approved shippers.

10. Same day the rep sent a fully executed copy of the
waiver to their legal dept.

11. Same day the rep faxed me a fully executed copy
of the waiver for my records. This one has his signature and info too.

12. Same day, the rep e-mailed me to advise me that the Live Animal Desk had informed him that I was on the approved shipper list. Done!!

Gralena 06-29-2009 09:29 AM

This is a great thread, Nanci!! I'm in process of getting this accomplished....where did you find the directions on packaging reptiles on fedex website? I have the application but wanted to read their directions exactly for the packaging. Also, did you pack a cool pack with yours? Thanks

Nanci 06-29-2009 09:54 AM

I can't find the packaging reptiles page! I have it printed out, but no way can I find it. I tried photographing it but it didn't turn out nicely, but I guess I'll try again.

I put in a used heat pack, and on the form specified that I would use heat or cold, whichever was applicable. I also put in an invoice and a fake snake in the deli cup!

Nanci 06-29-2009 10:19 AM

Scroll down to post #353, which has the Fed Ex Reptile Packaging PDF.

I still can't find it by searching Fed Ex's site...

The following components are required when accepting a packaging system for live reptiles.
• Live reptile inside a primary container. If primary container is a plastic dish with a lid, the lid must be secured by the appropriate amount of additional closure (tape, rubber bands, staples, etc.) to prevent the lid from separating. “Snap-on-lids” alone are not sufficient and require additional closure. If primary container is a cloth bag, bag must be sealed (tight knot, plastic cable-tie, folded over and taped, etc.) for proper containment.
• Cloth bags used to contain reptile may not have holes, cutouts or tears.
• Void fill (foam peanuts, newspaper, shredded paper, etc.) placed on all sides of the primary container to cushion and secure the container from shifting inside of the package while in transit.
• Sturdy outer box (recommend a minimum burst strength rating of 200 lbs.) sealed with a minimum 2” wide pressure sensitive tape. Duct or electrical tape is not permitted.

Optional Additions:
• Heat/cold pack for thermal protection from outside temperature and humidity changes.
• Foam panels placed inside all six faces of box to enhance overall structural integrity of package and for additional insulation of contents. Appropriate thickness of foam should be used for different box sizes.

• “(upwards arrows)” or “THIS SIDE UP” labels are recommended.
• “LIVEHARMLESSREPTILE” on two sides of the box.
• Place Airbill or POWERSHIP label on top of largest side.
• Recommend using the “H-taping method” on the top and bottom of the package as illustrated at upper left.

• FedEx boxes should not be used as the outer container.
• Shipments are restricted to Domestic U.S. locations via FedEx Express service only. Live animal shipments via FedEx Ground are strictly prohibited.

Blue Apple Herps 06-29-2009 11:10 AM

Good post. You're lucky it went so smoothly for you.

First time for me took about a month. Then they somehow "lost" my certification so I had to redo it. That time took 4 months right during the summer - I lost a lot of sales because I couldn't ship during that time.

Corny Noob 06-29-2009 11:50 AM

It seems so easy but I'm sure it would still make my head spin.

I'll just settle for having snakes shipped to me only :)

kathylove 06-29-2009 11:51 AM

I love how they now specify not to use FedEx boxes for the outer container. When I got certified, I had my package approved as an inner, insulated flat box, inside of the largest FedEx box. It worked really great, and I could fit about 6 deli cups inside, or even add a book if ordered together. And no dimensional weight! And I only had to buy one box, but got the use of 2! Of course, FedEx finally figured out that they were losing all of that dimensional weight they could get by forcing us to use the more typical boxes. I got to do it for a year or two before they caught on, and I had to increase my shipping rates to compensate. It was nice while it lasted, though!

Chris Olson 06-29-2009 12:02 PM

Good info, Nanci. I advise bringing a copy of your waiver with you whenever you ship. There are a lot of Fedex employees that firmly believe they do not ship animals. If you find yourself without your waiver and they give you grief, tell them to look up your account in the "green-screen email." After they look at you like "how does she know about that," they will see that you have a reptile waiver on your account. I would also note....I've been told by a very nice lady at Fedex, that I shouldn't write "Live Harmless Reptiles," on the box because she has "seen things happen to them."


Gralena 06-29-2009 10:03 PM much helpful information!! Thank you so much Nanci for writing all of this up!!! I was having trouble searching the Fedex site for some of the info and you are awesome!

ZoologyGirl 06-29-2009 10:04 PM

Thanks for the info, I dread the day I have to do it.

Hypancistrus 07-03-2009 01:41 PM

Nanci, what type of account did you apply for? The only one I found says for "mid-large sized businesses."

Nanci 07-03-2009 01:51 PM

Lauren, I don't remember being asked that question!

I filled out this:

cornspot 07-03-2009 03:42 PM

I don't think I had to choose a business type either.

chaoticstone 07-07-2009 08:53 PM

I have one question, how do you get around the not mailing directly to a business? (I'm thinking that is a written rule that isn't followed but asking any way) Here is the link that I found about shipping, #20.


Nanci 07-08-2009 05:23 AM

Either require the package to be held for pick-up or only shipping to a business. Many people here, probably most that would be interested in my babies, have home-based snake breeding businesses and are registered as such with the American Cornsnake Registry.

kathylove 07-08-2009 12:10 PM

So far, FedEx has "looked the other way" for shipments to a home business, whether registered or not. But I do everything I can to discourage it, including offering a better guarantee and cheaper shipping when picked up at the FedEx office, or AT LEAST, when sent to a commercial business address (drivers usually do business deliveries first, then homes).

Remember, if any mistake is made by FedEx (wrong address delivery, getting lost, late delivery, or exposure to extreme temps), it is MOST likely to happen with the delivery driver, not on the way to the destination city. So avoid that last step whenever you can, and have it picked up at the FedEx office.

Nanci 09-17-2009 06:19 PM

Preparatory to shipping my first snake in a couple weeks, I stopped by Fed Ex to make sure things would go smoothly. I love my Fed Ex ladies! "It's not our pink snake is it???" one asked!! (They remember being introduced to my little pink snake, Mingo, when she arrived. She won the hearts of everyone at my Fed Ex hub by being so cute and pretty and precious!!) No, not her, I assured them. I had my release of liability with me, and she looked me up in the computer, and I am indeed on The List. They made sure I knew not to ship after Wednesday! They told me that my package would be held inside until it was loaded on the truck at 6PM, so I could account for that in my heating plans. So- I feel very comfortable with my end of the shipping process!

sweet~nichole~marie 09-19-2009 04:33 PM

Awesome thread, Nanci. I plan on doing this in the future and this will be a great help!

RobbiesCornField 09-19-2009 04:36 PM

Another question with regards to the "business". If you have your home address listed as your facility when you register a "fictitious name", does it count as a business?

Nanci 10-08-2009 05:24 PM

I can't help you with that Robbie, but I do have new information to add.

I shipped out my first snake last week. Everything went fine. When I dropped her off, I didn't have to pay. I guess I thought since they had my debit card on file, they would just charge that. But no, I got a bill in the mail today. FYI.

Khaman 10-08-2009 09:24 PM

Do you have a online Fed Ex account?

Nanci 10-09-2009 05:21 AM

Yes I have an on-line account. I was too nervous to do the whole thing on-line, though, mainly because I didn't know- labels and barcodes and stuff prints out, right? Can you do that on just regular paper? But yes, I had to use my account number to ship her. If you do it on-line, do you pay right then, or do they still bill you?

DeadMouse 10-09-2009 05:56 AM


Originally Posted by RobbiesCornField (Post 944887)
Another question with regards to the "business". If you have your home address listed as your facility when you register a "fictitious name", does it count as a business?


Originally Posted by Nanci (Post 959995)
I can't help you with that Robbie, but I do have new information to add.

I shipped out my first snake last week. Everything went fine. When I dropped her off, I didn't have to pay. I guess I thought since they had my debit card on file, they would just charge that. But no, I got a bill in the mail today. FYI.

I don't know if anybody really read my thread about my whole Fedex Cert. Snafu, but this can be a real issue should the situation arise. Everything that could go wrong for me did and my certification process has stopped stone cold.

When I tried to ship my test box, neither a Fedex Kinkos would take it nor would an actual Fedex Hub because the testing facility did not have an account number because the box was being shipped "bill to recipient". I even had a Fedex customer service agent tell the Kinkos employees they did not need an account number for this facility and yet they still denied my box.

Then when I called the testing facility, they told me that my home address could not be the same as my business address, they had to be 2 completely separate places because the waiver specifically states "business to business" transactions only and that home businesses didn't count. When I explained this to my rep, he told me that I could send from my "home business" but that I'd now have to have an actual business license which in Washington appears to be a major ordeal and added expense.

It really pisses me off considering nobody else seems to be hitting all these blockades that I keep hitting and now I don't know what to do unless I want to shell out hundreds for a business license. :headbang:

Khaman 10-09-2009 06:08 AM


Originally Posted by Nanci (Post 960434)
Can you do that on just regular paper?

Yes, you can call Fed Ex and order the plastic pouches that stick to the box. you just fold the paper so that the barcode and info show seal the pouch and drop it off.


Originally Posted by Nanci (Post 960434)
If you do it on-line, do you pay right then, or do they still bill you?

They wait till the end of the month and bill you for all of that month's shipments but you can set it up so it charges your card when the bill is posted. I just let it bill to my PayPal debit card so it just took the money out of there.

You also get better rates if you "Ship" online and print your labels from home. It also keeps up with the tracking info for you.

Nanci 10-09-2009 07:00 AM

Cool! Thanks for that info. I already have the plastic pouches.

Nanci 11-15-2009 06:23 PM

I'll be doing my second shipment Tuesday. This time I did the shipment on-line. It seemed to go smoothly, except it got hung up on the price quote, to I had to start over, but then it went right through the second time.

airenlow 01-28-2010 10:54 AM

I'm getting ready to send out my test package after following all your steps Nanci. So, if I get rejected it's all your fault! ;)

One quick question though. Test packages don't get shipped overnight, do they?

Nanci 01-28-2010 11:03 AM

When I took mine in, I didn't get a choice on how it was shipped. They just took it. I did not pay to ship it.

Nanci 01-28-2010 11:04 AM

You taped the deli, right??

airenlow 01-28-2010 11:09 AM

Oh, OK. I was trying to schedule a pickup. I'll just walk in instead. Thanks!

EDIT: Deli is taped!

Em Wright 12-06-2010 10:28 AM

I need to get back on this. I started the process a year or so ago, but my rep informed me that I'd have to pay to have my test package shipped so I stopped working on it. I do want to try again though, as Reptiles Express has been having issues with UPS due to SYR related issues and they aren't reliably available for me to ship through. Thankfully I don't need to ship any time soon.

Thanks for posting this Nanci, it will be a big help when I bite the bullet and take care of it for myself!

Christen 07-13-2011 03:27 PM

I am getting ready to send my test package out and of course everyone that I talk to can't answer this and the number they have for my local rep is a disconnected number but.... It looks like on the test packaging guidlines that the white box that says live harmless reptiles goes inside another box? Or is just the foam panels inside the box good enough?

Nanci 07-13-2011 05:05 PM

When I sent mine, I just sent the test box. Styrofoam lining is critical because they are going to submit the box to crushing force, which it must withstand.

Christen 07-26-2011 01:33 PM

Thank you so much for you help!! I am certified. It happened so fast I am still in shock. I went ahead and sent the test pack in another box because I found out that the fedex by me doesn't take in reptiles. Bunch of Girly Girls!! (Kettle calling the pot black, I know) And I didnt want to have to drive if I didn't have to and I didn't want them looking at the box and refuse.

So anyway I sent my package out on a Thursday. They got it the following Tuesday and I had results by Thursday afternoon. By Last night, monday, I had an email from legal that had the docs that I needed to sign and heard back from legal this morning. Not once have I talked to my local rep. Not sure what is going on with that but at least I was able to get it taken care of with out her.

JoannaD 07-26-2011 01:37 PM

Congratulations Christen. I think I spoke to my rep and that is when she got the papers form legal. I seem to remember mine went about almost as fast as yours. The only glitch I think I had was that it took a few extra days to get me the legal documents and the guy in the packaging department actually helped me out with that.

Nanci 07-26-2011 01:39 PM

So when you ship, though, you have to label the box correctly to ship it legally. All it has to say, though, is live harmless wildlife. You don't have to say reptile or snake. And you put the scientific name on the label. You don't want to have a delay, or "accident," due to employess not wanting to ship snakes.

Christen 07-26-2011 01:55 PM

Oh yeah all that was on the test package but the test package was in a regular box. Obviously, I will take a little drive to drop off my snakes when they are real ones.

Jessica29 05-18-2013 12:50 PM

Hopefully you can help me with this Nanci. I'm hoping to send my test package out today. I know how to pack the inside, and I have my formed filled out. But where do I get the labels and such that need to be on the outside of the box? The box I'm using is one I had a snake shipped to me in. It says LLL reptile then has the word "perishable" with arrows pointing up on all sides and the top says fragile. What else do I need? Thanks.

Nanci 05-18-2013 01:26 PM

If you look at my sticky, How to Pack Snakes for Shipping, you can see how I label my boxes. I just print the labels on fluorescent paper and tape over them. The Perishable labels came from FedEx. You order them and FedEx delivers them to you.

MotleyMedusa7 06-05-2013 02:58 PM

thanks for this post-we're working on getting certified with Fed Ex now-the funny thing is we use Fed ex everyday for shipping out of the warehouse,but our normal rep had no clue how to do reptile shipping lol

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