Trophy Shipping Air vs Ocean

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by PHOENIX PHIL, May 30, 2011.

  1. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Gents,

    Well my trophies from last summer are supposed to be completed by the end of September and it's now time to plan on the shipping. My trophies are with Life-From Taxidermy in RSA. Life-Form has informed me they work with Safari Air Cargo Systems primarily for arranging shipments to their customers.

    While at the SCI convention this year I stopped by the Coppersmith booth who as many of you know handles the logistics once the trophies hit the U.S. So I called them this week to get things rolling. Frankly while the Coppersmith rep was friendly enough, the rep would hardly let me ask questions, answering them before the question was fully asked. I found that to be a bit annoying. Well after what was a longer than needed conversation in getting my questions fully asked, I was kind of left wondering.

    The Coppersmith rep strongly advised going the air shipping route and strongly against ocean shipping. The reasons against ocean shipping were that it was more complicated, a large deposit was necessary (although I don't remember who that was too) and clearing the trophies were that much more difficult. The end game was that while it was somewhat cheaper, it just wasn't worth the hassle. I found that a bit surprising as from what I've read, the only drawback with ocean shipping was the additional time required for shipping. Something I'm not concerned with, I've waited this long, what's a few more weeks?

    The other thing the Coppersmith rep said was that Safari Cargo would also advise against ocean shipping and may not even want to quote it. However on SC's website they have a page that discusses ocean shipping as a good alternative to air shipping.

    So questions I have...

    1. Air or ocean? If the only drawback is time, that's not a concern to me.

    2. From what I've read here, clearing the trophies is not that difficult and an outfit like Coppersmith is not required. If so, what do I need to clear them myself?
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think the costs savings depends on where you live? It depends if you are in port city where the animals can be cleared through U.S. Customs. I'm thinking Phoenix, AZ probably will be close in cost between air and ocean freight.

    You will probably have to pay someone to clear your trophies unless you want to drive or fly to the port of entry.

    I have heard Coppersmith as being pretty pricey.
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I should have mentioned it, but I was toying with just driving to Los Angeles if that ended up being the port of entry. That was kind of another source of confusion for me after the call. The rep at Coppersmith said the trophies if shipped by air would most likely hit Atlanta first where they would have to clear customs. But then on to L.A. for the rest. After the fact that didn't make sense to me.

    If by ocean, I would think the shipping company could have it sent to the port of L.A. and let everything be handled there. It's about a 5-6 hour drive to L.A. from Phoenix, albeit probably a little longer to make it all the way down to the port. But either way, I figured on making the drive anyway.
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I guess I would get quotes, and figure out how much the price difference it is? I think the firms clearing animals for people...charge a arm, leg, heart and lung. That being said some are better at jumping through the loops to get your animals through U.S. Customs if there are problems.
  5. 6MM

    6MM AH Veteran

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    I have received mixed advice on this. Some say boat is risky (but there is insurance). It is less expensive for sure and if you are not in a hurry why spend the dollars.
  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    When I left RSA from my 09 hunt, the taxidermist offered either way as doable but I opted for air as the price difference didnt seem that big. Sounds like this Coppersmith is a little vague, might seek professional advice elsewhere. As to clearing the trophies at the POE, it is easy and I have done it twice now. You must contact Customs and make an appointment (at least I did) before you go to the cargo office, then they give you paperwork to take to customs, they fill out their papers and back you go to the cargo office to pick up your trophies. Hopefully and most likely it is all fairly close together at the airport, mine was, and its all over in an hour or so and headed home. At SEA-TAC where I pick up, both Customs and Fish Wildlife are in the same office making it easy. Unless one is having a stateside taxidermist do his work, its just as easy and cheaper to clear ones own trophies. If doing the work here, they usually pick up for you but you may still pay extra for the clearing process.
  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    So did you have to bring any paperwork with you to customs or do anything else in advance other than setting the appointment?
  8. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Phil, Nope, only that which the cargo office gave me to show to Customs and Fish Wildlife. The shipper is the first stop for the shipping documents. Customs clears it all, then back to the shipper for your stuff.
  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Sure sounds easy and I'd be happy to save the $400 also. Thanks Thomas!
  11. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Phil,
    My thoughts as well.
    I live @ Roosevelt Lake,AZ. and although it's a long haul to the Ports in L.A. or San Fran it is going to be a good excuse for me to visit family in the Bay area.
    As far as the Sea or Air issue is concerned, I am still researching my options. My trophies from my hunt with Louis last May should soon be nearing the shipment phase.

    Ty
  12. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Keep in touch and let me know which way you go with the shipping. Roosevelt Lake eh? Unit 23 is my favorite for Coues deer.
  13. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Phil,
    Will do, and yes Unit 23 is a gem :biggrin2:
  14. Merry B

    Merry B AH Member

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    Hi,
    Even tho Coppersmith is our competetion, their rep is correct- we also recommend air freight.
    You can clear the trophies yourself, but unless you know what you're doing, it's probably easier to have someone else do it. Just my 2 cents...
  15. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Thanks for your input. Can I ask what problems you've encountered with ocean freight?
  16. Merry B

    Merry B AH Member

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    Well, the costs are about the same in the long run. There is also a greater chance of damage from water, etc. We have had problems with USDA in LAX & JFK, and they can hold things up. Our best routing lately has been on Delta from Jo-burg to ATL to SEA, where we are situated. There are also different procedures for shipping air/via ocean. If you go to our website, you can find info there about 10+2 which will help explain a little more.
  17. catosilvaje

    catosilvaje AH Member

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    I know this is an old post but here is my take. I shipped about 500lbs. of trophies and stuff by air. $2000 Yankee dollars, the in DFW Coppersmith charged me $1500 Yankee dollars to clear it. They told me if one word was spelled wrong fish and feathers would burn me stuff. Later Customs told me that was bullshit, just clear it yourself,very easy.
  18. ej7447

    ej7447 New Member

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    Re: Coppersmith and Adam Clement/Bundu Safari
    Received a bill for $4,500 for the preparation and shipping and fees for two Cape Buffalo, one Warthog and one Grants Gazelle. About $2,700 was for preparation and about $700 to $800 to ship via air....or less, hard to tell from invoice. Seemed high to me; can anyone comment?
  19. 6MM

    6MM AH Veteran

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    In South Africa I was quoted $100 for large animals (Kudu), $70 for medium sized (Wildebeest), and 50 for small animals (springbok) for the Dip and pack process. I have also rec'd some estimates for airfreight running anywhere from $1100 to $1300 depending on insurance etc. None of these estimates reflected stateside clearance and/or transfers.
  20. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hey Phil get on line and check for customs clearing agents in the area that you plan to be your port of entery thats what I did in sted of using some of these high dollar outfits you hear everyone talking about, once I got some names an numbers I made a few calls to see what this was going to cost me to get my trophies cleared through Customs. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the lady on the other end told me she would only charge me about a $140.00 of cource I live in Alabama so Atlanta was my best bet as far as ship or air I had Rex Freight Forward give me a qoate the difference was under $150.00 so I went air. Just something you may want to check out if you havn't committed yet.

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