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Re: Shipping into Canada

In a message dated 8/24/1999 1:56:29 AM Mountain Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

> I'm trying to find a way (short of air-freight, airport to airport) to get
>  fish from Southern California to Toronto, Ontario. Early in June, I ordered
>  several trios of Japanese Grass Guppies from a chap in southern California.
>  He suggested that the quickest way to get them to me was via U.S. Mail -
>  Express Mail service. The package was shipped on June 7th, and showed up in
>  Canada on June 10th. Unfortunately for both me and the fish, the place they
>  showed up in is half a continent away - I found them at a Customs Clearance
>  Brokerage in Vancouver. Over the telephone, the broker told me that he had
>  reviewed the package about an hour before I spoke to him on the telephone
>  and the fish appeared to be O.K. The package was passed to Purolator later
>  that afternoon and overnighted to me here in Toronto. They were delivered 
>  my door by 11:00 a.m on the 11th. Four days in small plastic bags (4 oz. of
>  water per fish) had taken it's toll - only one female from each trio
>  survived the trip and there was a high "ammonia" smell to the water.
>  The surviving females did recover, but now I'd like to obtain more fish 
>  the same dealer. He suggested initially that Airborne Express would be a
>  more direct way to go but when he packaged up some fish last week to send
>  me, Airborne refused the package because they apparently no longer accept
>  "live animals" for International delivery.
>  Does anyone have any suggestions? 

Living that close to the border, why not ask someone in Buffalo or the US 
side of Niagara Falls to receive the fish and go down and pick them up.  You 
can handle the customs inspection when you come back over the bridge.

Are there ANY courier companies which will
>  ship "live animals" from the U.S. to Canada? 

UPS and FED-Ex both will handle live fish shipments, but I don't know whether 
they are willing to handle the customs issues.  Give them a call.  They're 
spendy, but reliable.

>Is there any way to get the
>  U.S. Postal Service to realize the fact that Canada is a HUGE country and
>  that Vancouver, while it is only three hours by air from California, is 
>  a thousand miles from Toronto? Can a shipper request/direct the U.S. Postal
>  service to send the package to a border entry point that is closer to the
>  delivery point, rather than the one closest to the point of origin? 

Express and priority mail go by flat rate.  The Post office will spend less 
money getting it to you by shipping it to the nearest Canadian point, then 
dumping the rest of the trip on the Canadian Postal Service.  Canada will do 
the same in the other direction.

>  shipping in larger bags (with more water per fish) help the fish survive a
>  four day stay in the box?

Yep,  but the shipping costs will be higher because of the extra weight.  
Some shippers will add ammonia absorbing stuff into the bags.

Bob Dixon