Is Ocean Freight for finished Taxidermy a good option?

shootist~

Silver supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
499
Reaction score
563
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Media
11
Member of
NRA Life Member, USPSA Certified Range Officer (inactive), NRA Certified Instructor (inactive)
Hunted
USA, Mexico
Hunting in South Africa this July and have been getting quotes from @LIFE-FORM TAXIDERMY

They were kind enough to get with their S.A. shipping company who also provided several projections for air freight to Dallas (also Denver) as well as by ship to Houston.

My freight request was for three shoulder mounts with Kudu being the largest, and three random Euro Shield mounts. (They included a Cape Buffalo and two small mounts with the Euros.)

In addition they also did an air freight projection for just the three Euro mounts, which would run about $1,260. All quotes include all misc South African fees plus insurance.

For my wish list of 3 shoulder mounts plus 3 Euro Shield mounts the projected air freight cost to either DFW or Denver was $4,203.

Ocean freight to the Port of Houston for same would run $2,058, or about half.
No US based fees or custom agent charges are included.

Huge savings to go by ship, but is this a good option? Are their any concerns or additional US fees I need to look at ?

Looking forward to hearing from anyone with experience or knowledge on the subject.
 
Last edited:

buck wild

Silver supporter
AH elite
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
1,064
Reaction score
1,473
Location
Texas
Media
293
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
4
USA/Canada
1
Member of
SCI Brush Country Chapter
Hunted
Kalahari; Limpopo; Mexico; Texas
As a taxidermist, I would not ship mounted animals ocean freight. I have no real experience but the water , humidity and temperature fluxuations over the shipping time frame would be my biggest concern.
Now, the freight does seem high to me. Maybe check with other shippers. Once you know the weight and volume of the crate, you can get other estimates.
 

TTundra

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
681
Reaction score
997
Location
Greensboro, NC
Media
56
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Hunted
RSA (Limpopo), USA , CAN
Freight rates are very high right so I suspect that air price will come down (hopefully) next year when your trophies are ready to ship. I have preferred to get trophies by air simply to save time. While air can be 7-10 days, ocean can easily be 30-40+. My last hunt, I checked both and ocean was only $500-$700 cheaper. We picked up right at the Coppersmith office near O'hare airport so no inland freight was needed which saves a lot. Keep that in mind, that air freight can get it to the closest airport to you to minimize that expense.

for reference, in 2019, I paid $3200 for the air freight & Insurance plus $500 for coppersmith.

2 Kudu wall pedestals
2 Blue Wildebeest wall pedestals
1 black wildbeest wall pedestal
1 waterbuck wall pedestal
1 zebra wall pedestal
1 gemsbok wall pedestal
2 impala wall pedestal
1 impala euro
1 springbuck euro
and a few back skins

I bet rates will settle down by when your shipment is ready.
 

MMAL

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
624
Reaction score
1,083
Location
New Jersey
Media
52
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
New Jersey, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, Mexico, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Namibia
There are no planes or I should say not a lot of planes flying right now. Supply and Demand comes to mind with these quotes. If you hunt in July, it will be 4-8 months before your trophies will ship, even with just dip and pack. Taxidermy in Africa is a now time line, not a just now or now-now timeline. Once air traffic gets going again, unless their is a tremendous backlog, i would expect those rates to come down.
 

PARA45

AH legend
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
3,934
Media
52
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
2
Member of
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Hunted
South Africa, Nicaragua, FL, CA, SD, GA, SC, CO
I word of caution, ask what the freight insurance covers, and from where to where. I got burned/screwed over this, and the taxidermist & shipper (the same company) never provided a copy of the insurance certificate, which means that I got charged for insurance, but it was never purchased.
 

Corey0372

AH senior member
Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
96
Reaction score
134
Location
All over
Media
1
Member of
NRA, USPA, VFW, RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania
This is the exact conversation a buddy and I were having the other day. We have a hunt coming up in SA and (if we're lucky) should both be going home with 3 shoulder mounts a piece. Never shipped anything from over there so I'm here to learn as well
 

PARA45

AH legend
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
2,203
Reaction score
3,934
Media
52
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
2
Member of
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Hunted
South Africa, Nicaragua, FL, CA, SD, GA, SC, CO
One thing I learned from my experience, and from what I have read here. Is to get your trophies done in the US or your country of origin. If you get mediocre work, you are so screwed. The taxidermist will leave you daze, confused and sticky when they are done with you. You have no way to fight back, you already paid, and you will never get a refund. I'm sure there are some that would, but that was not my case. Here is an example of mediocre/sh*tty taxidermist. The fix from my taxidermist was for me to ship this impala, and others back to him (on my dime), and he would fix, but I also had to pay to get them back into the US.

IMPALA.jpg


My apologies to the OP, if this is off track.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
4,133
Reaction score
6,525
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
237
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
I think sea shipment cost savings are somewhat wishful thinking. Every time a crate gets handled, a charge is incurred. Your small crate is going to have to go into a much larger shipping container if going by sea.

In mid 2019, I airshipped 8 shoulder mounts (eland, bushbuck x2, warthog x2, waterbuck, blue wildebeest, blesbuck )and a zebra flatskin and it was $1900 on Delta from JNB to IAH. Actually once it landed in Atlanta, the "Delta Flight" to Houston was actually a truck. All the customs fees, transfers, etc and Coppersmith's fee was $660.

BTW, I wasn't thrilled with the RSA taxidermy work. All future trophies will likely go the dip and pack route and the taxi work will be done in the US.
 

wesheltonj

AH legend
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,495
Reaction score
2,625
Location
South Texas
Media
19
Articles
7
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Benefactor-Life NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, HSC
Hunted
USA, RSA
Your air freight quote is higher then normal, because they’re fewer flights. Assuming flights increase your price should be lower. I would wait it out for the air freight.
 

outwestidaho

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2014
Messages
119
Reaction score
229
Location
IDAHO
Media
34
Articles
1
Member of
SCI, NRA
Hunted
South Africa, cape of south Africa , Namibia, Alaska, British Columbia, Manitoba
There is also a bunch of dock fees etc that have to be paid when they arrive. Its been a while since I have dealt with a ocean shipment but an extra $ 900.00 comes to mind.
 

shootist~

Silver supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
499
Reaction score
563
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Media
11
Member of
NRA Life Member, USPSA Certified Range Officer (inactive), NRA Certified Instructor (inactive)
Hunted
USA, Mexico
There is also a bunch of dock fees etc that have to be paid when they arrive. Its been a while since I have dealt with a ocean shipment but an extra $ 900.00 comes to mind.

That would sure knock the wind out of those sails.

Great advice from all, btw.
Many thanks!
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,098
Reaction score
7,007
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
86
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
Hunting in South Africa this July and have been getting quotes from @LIFE-FORM TAXIDERMY

They were kind enough to get with their S.A. shipping company who also provided several projections for air freight to Dallas (also Denver) as well as by ship to Houston.

My freight request was for three shoulder mounts with Kudu being the largest, and three random Euro Shield mounts. (They included a Cape Buffalo and two small mounts with the Euros.)

In addition they also did an air freight projection for just the three Euro mounts, which would run about $1,260. All quotes include all misc South African fees plus insurance.

For my wish list of 3 shoulder mounts plus 3 Euro Shield mounts the projected air freight cost to either DFW or Denver was $4,203.

Ocean freight to the Port of Houston for same would run $2,058, or about half.
No US based fees or custom agent charges are included.

Huge savings to go by ship, but is this a good option? Are their any concerns or additional US fees I need to look at ?

Looking forward to hearing from anyone with experience or knowledge on the subject.
I was just asking Tom at Trophy Shippers this question. The trouble is the customs and port fees eat you up on ocean freight. It would have to be a full container to be worth it. You have a very small shipment in the grand scheme of things and it must go air freight.
Good luck and hope it all goes well. Who is your agent cleaning it?
Philip
 

shootist~

Silver supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
499
Reaction score
563
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Media
11
Member of
NRA Life Member, USPSA Certified Range Officer (inactive), NRA Certified Instructor (inactive)
Hunted
USA, Mexico
@Philip Glass

I haven't committed to a clearing agent as yet - or a taxidermy company either, but I'm leaning in Life-Forms direction on the latter. I've seen their work, covering several safaris and I like the simplicity of one outfit handling raw skin pickup through final taxi.

Their S.A. shipper listed Coppersmith if I went Port of Houston. Two others I'm not familiar with depending on the arrival airport.

The local Taxidermist I visited with in 2019 also prefers Coppersmith, and routing through DFW. His work also looks really good, btw. I just worry because he's older than Moses.
 

Philip Glass

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH legend
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
4,098
Reaction score
7,007
Location
Texas
Website
www.dorper.net
Media
86
Articles
13
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Asia/M.East
2
Member of
NRA, Life SCI, Life DSC, Life EWA
Hunted
RSA, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Austria, Australia, TX, NM
@Philip Glass

I haven't committed to a clearing agent as yet - or a taxidermy company either, but I'm leaning in Life-Forms direction on the latter. I've seen their work, covering several safaris and I like the simplicity of one outfit handling raw skin pickup through final taxi.

Their S.A. shipper listed Coppersmith if I went Port of Houston. Two others I'm not familiar with depending on the arrival airport.

The local Taxidermist I visited with in 2019 also prefers Coppersmith, and routing through DFW. His work also looks really good, btw. I just worry because he's older than Moses.
I recommend @TROPHY SHIPPERS who are an AH sponsor. Tom Kelly has cleared about half a dozen shipments for me including the tense rhino shipment that was cleared the morning of January 20th just before noon! He now has my Namibia shipment coming and his staff are kind and professional.
I would recommend everyone stay away from Coppersmith.
Use @trophyshippers for your next safari!
Philip
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TTundra

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
681
Reaction score
997
Location
Greensboro, NC
Media
56
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Hunted
RSA (Limpopo), USA , CAN
I would recommend everyone stay away from Coppersmith.
What's your reason for this? I've used them twice and they have been great to deal with out of the Elk grove, IL office. They seem to get plenty of praise on most reports and why I chose them.
Can you elaborate on what you've experienced that went wrong or bad?
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
4,133
Reaction score
6,525
Location
Shreveport, Louisiana
Media
237
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
4
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Canada, New Zealand, Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY
I've used Coppersmith 5 or 6 times and always great communication and they stay on top of things. A pleasure to deal with.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,637
Messages
719,280
Members
67,298
Latest member
Prom Electric xtp27
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

RicardoT wrote on Jan007's profile.
Hallo , ek stel belang as die 375 steeds beskikbaar is 083 511 9921
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
 
Top