Obscene Trophy Shipping Costs

Vanguard2279

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So,....this morning I receive an email from Oxi Logistics advising me that my crate from Highveld Taxidermy is ready to ship. This would be the Cape Buffalo and Sable shoulder mounts along with two backskins from my May 2019 hunt with Pawprint Safaris. I anxiously scroll down the page to the price.

$4,161.02

I dropped my wine and fell to my knees. My anguished screams could be heard all over the cul-de-sac. The Goldens took a break from watching "The Dog Whisperer" to check on me, but they really were interested in a snack and not my wellbeing.

Okay, none of the above happened. I don't drink before work, but I seriously wanted to have a Gin & Tonic after seeing the invoice. I did curse a little.
The crate is listed as a volumetric weight of 367 KG and measures 162 cm(L) x 107 cm(W).

Paula of Oxi Logistics was kind enough to put the following in the email:
"Kindly note that storage and handling fees of $250 per month become applicable after your crates have been in our warehouse for 3 months if the delay is caused by the customer".

I'm tempted to ride out the three months to see if shipping goes down. I haven't responded yet. I'm going to give it the weekend. This pretty much ensures that I will never have taxidermy done in Africa again. I've been happy with the work that they've done in the past, but have started to appreciate the quality of materials that American taxidermists use after receiving my 2018 Namibia trophies from Taxidermy America. On a side note, a Gemsbok that Taxidermy America did for me fell off the wall, dropped nine feet on to tile and was not damaged other than the horns being a little loose.

I'm now dreading the cost of shipping the dipped & packed horns and hides from Zambia this last October. I'm definitely not getting the mounts in SA.

Anybody have any suggestions?
 

sestoppelman

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What makes you think shipping will go down? I would just get it shipped and pay the freight. I have found that everything associated with taxidermy is stupid expensive. I got sticker shock a couple hunts ago too, but have forgotten how much it was.
On the hunt I had planned BC, (before Covid), I was going to take pictures and leave it all there and forget about any more taxi.
 

thi9elsp

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Interesting to read the comments. I've thought next time to splurge and hire a videographer vs. doing taxidermy. It just might be a wash and having a 30 minute video (or longer depending on trip) is a lot easier to store.
 

Vanguard2279

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@sestoppelman
I would normally agree with you. Right now, there are a shortage of airlines flying in and out of SA. Hopefully in a few months, more will restart their routes. More options. I'm also getting quotes from other shippers. This is way more than twice what it has been in the past. And yes, I know that the world has changed since the halcyon days of "cheap" shipping.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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The volumetric weight of 367 kg seems quite large. I had a crate from RSA to Houston that was 138 kg and it contained one Zebra flat skin and shoulder mounts for Eland, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Bushbuck x2 and Warthog x2
 

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Costs are going down, slowly. I bring in a lot of freight to the US, we are seeing a decline from the astronomical figures of December and January 2020, but they are still much higher than 'average'. Personally, if stored in a controlled enviroment and it is insured by them there, I would wait and have it reqouted every 30 days until the fees begin. Ocean transit woulnt be a good option for you as the inland transit from port to you in NV would be a good sum, so likely best to wait and get those updated quotes.
 

Vanguard2279

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Costs are going down, slowly. I bring in a lot of freight to the US, we are seeing a decline from the astronomical figures of December and January 2020, but they are still much higher than 'average'. Personally, if stored in a controlled enviroment and it is insured by them there, I would wait and have it reqouted every 30 days until the fees begin. Ocean transit woulnt be a good option for you as the inland transit from port to you in NV would be a good sum, so likely best to wait and get those updated quotes.
I reached out to Hahn International who I used in 2017 and did a wonderful job. He was in agreement with your post as being the best course of action. If I can let my crate sit there for a couple months, we're apt to see more airlines flying in and out of SA. He advised that Turkish seems to be the only one taking air cargo that he sees. I'm sure Oxi Logistics has closed for the weekend. I'll reach out on Monday.
 

IvW

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So,....this morning I receive an email from Oxi Logistics advising me that my crate from Highveld Taxidermy is ready to ship. This would be the Cape Buffalo and Sable shoulder mounts along with two backskins from my May 2019 hunt with Pawprint Safaris. I anxiously scroll down the page to the price.

$4,161.02

I dropped my wine and fell to my knees. My anguished screams could be heard all over the cul-de-sac. The Goldens took a break from watching "The Dog Whisperer" to check on me, but they really were interested in a snack and not my wellbeing.

Okay, none of the above happened. I don't drink before work, but I seriously wanted to have a Gin & Tonic after seeing the invoice. I did curse a little.
The crate is listed as a volumetric weight of 367 KG and measures 162 cm(L) x 107 cm(W).

Paula of Oxi Logistics was kind enough to put the following in the email:
"Kindly note that storage and handling fees of $250 per month become applicable after your crates have been in our warehouse for 3 months if the delay is caused by the customer".

I'm tempted to ride out the three months to see if shipping goes down. I haven't responded yet. I'm going to give it the weekend. This pretty much ensures that I will never have taxidermy done in Africa again. I've been happy with the work that they've done in the past, but have started to appreciate the quality of materials that American taxidermists use after receiving my 2018 Namibia trophies from Taxidermy America. On a side note, a Gemsbok that Taxidermy America did for me fell off the wall, dropped nine feet on to tile and was not damaged other than the horns being a little loose.

I'm now dreading the cost of shipping the dipped & packed horns and hides from Zambia this last October. I'm definitely not getting the mounts in SA.

Anybody have any suggestions?
$250 a month? Thats a lot of money....for a crate...I will collect and gladly store at my house for $100 a month....hell I can rent a 40 foot container for storage at R400 a month....about $30....
 

sestoppelman

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But will you save enough to offset the rental fees?
 

Vanguard2279

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Going by their email, I
But will you save enough to offset the rental fees?
have three months before storage fees are applied. I'll talk to them on Monday.
 

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So,....this morning I receive an email from Oxi Logistics advising me that my crate from Highveld Taxidermy is ready to ship. This would be the Cape Buffalo and Sable shoulder mounts along with two backskins from my May 2019 hunt with Pawprint Safaris. I anxiously scroll down the page to the price.

$4,161.02

I dropped my wine and fell to my knees. My anguished screams could be heard all over the cul-de-sac. The Goldens took a break from watching "The Dog Whisperer" to check on me, but they really were interested in a snack and not my wellbeing.

Okay, none of the above happened. I don't drink before work, but I seriously wanted to have a Gin & Tonic after seeing the invoice. I did curse a little.
The crate is listed as a volumetric weight of 367 KG and measures 162 cm(L) x 107 cm(W).

Paula of Oxi Logistics was kind enough to put the following in the email:
"Kindly note that storage and handling fees of $250 per month become applicable after your crates have been in our warehouse for 3 months if the delay is caused by the customer".

I'm tempted to ride out the three months to see if shipping goes down. I haven't responded yet. I'm going to give it the weekend. This pretty much ensures that I will never have taxidermy done in Africa again. I've been happy with the work that they've done in the past, but have started to appreciate the quality of materials that American taxidermists use after receiving my 2018 Namibia trophies from Taxidermy America. On a side note, a Gemsbok that Taxidermy America did for me fell off the wall, dropped nine feet on to tile and was not damaged other than the horns being a little loose.

I'm now dreading the cost of shipping the dipped & packed horns and hides from Zambia this last October. I'm definitely not getting the mounts in SA.

Anybody have any suggestions?

@Vanguard2279 first of all, I need to say I'm sorry as I do sympathize with you.

Now for the bitter medicine. Not popular to say on this forum as there are sponsors of the forum that have various incentives to encourage African taxidermy.

-Yes, that is the going volumetric weight of trophies.
-I hope you like African taxidermy, because it costs more than best in the world US taxidermy due to the freight and other fees, or is at least a close tie.
-Worse yet, if the taxidermy is lousy (not saying it will be) your recourse is nil. At least if you get it done in the USA you can receive word that the hides are screwed before you leave tannery phase and enter taxidermy phase.
-Worse yet, if it is broken in shipment you need to hire a taxidermist in the USA to repair your trophies. Not many exceptional US taxidermists want to work on broken stuff finished in Africa previously.
-When you dip-pack in Africa worst case there is a kickback, incentive, or commission for dip-pack, export permits, and freight. You can only be overcharged so much. (not saying you have been, saying it happens) By getting finished work in Africa you the chain of parties that can nick you with overcharges and generous margins grows. At least in the USA you know that the PH/Operator/DipPack/Exporter/FreightForwarder aren't also in cahoots with the taxidermist...keeping these folks at arms length is helpful for ensuring fair pricing.
-Even if everyone is above board and acting like angels providing services at reasonable profits, the shipping companies have got you by the balls. You need to ship as light/small as possible. Why do they have you by the balls? Because there are so few airlines that will allow your trophies on their planes so those few remaining get to charge you pretty much any number they want, you have little free-market choice.

Don't forget, after all of the above, you still have $600 for customs clearance in the USA (e.g. Coppersmith) and then if you're not picking it up directly from them, you have freight-forwarders shipping those mounts the last mile to you in the States.

The best solution to all of this is to dip-pack and get it out of Africa. Go back and hunt Africa a lot. Have fun. By the time you get around to wanting the dip-pack from safari A taxidermied in the US you've already gone on safari B and C where you got better animals and realize you don't want 4 kudus, 73 impalas, and 41 warthogs anyway. Going easy on the taxidermy saves so much money you can go on safari more often. Euromounts and knick-nacks are your friends, anything easy to ship and mount!
 

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I would take the three month of warehousing. As more flights become available the price should come down. Assuming the flights frequency have sufficiently increased.
 

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I would take the three month of warehousing. As more flights become available the price should come down. Assuming the flights frequency have sufficiently increased.


@wesheltonj I don't believe his pricing is high because of Covid. His price is high because:

A.) He is paying for volumetric weight, not actual weight. A gold bar weighs about 50kgs but it only takes up a 3"x6"x2" container. You pay actual weight. His pedestals are lightweight but so damned big they are charging him for huge area they take up in the belly of the plane. The pedestal mounts are being charged as though they weigh 807lbs. That will be the same today, tomorrow, forever. He's stuck paying for 807lbs of volumetric freight even though they probably weigh a literal 100lbs combined.

B.) He is paying the anti-hunting premium. Every month or two another global carrier acquiesces to PETA and pledges to not allow hunted trophies to be shipped on their planes. The number of no-fly airlines grows every day therefore the supply of available carriers willing to do business with us is plunging. With less choice in the marketplace, prices soar. This isn't going away tomorrow if Covid is magically cured.

C.) There is no shortage of general flights with available cargo space today, even acknowledging the limited number of airlines that will ship a trophy. Africa is a net-importer of airline shipped goods. More stuff is coming into those planes than is leaving. This is no different than why shipping a cargo container to the State of Florida is very expensive but shipping any cargo/LTL from Florida is very cheap. (everything goes into Florida, nothing comes out of Florida)

D.) Delaying can be viewed as anything from stubbornness, to speculation that cheaper rates are right around the corner, to a false belief if you stomp your feet or protest you'll get a better deal. You'll never get a better deal. Time and time again with African safaris I've seen people do this "lets just wait" approach and they simply seize the deposits and seize the goods. They sell the goods to cover their costs. Who buys those liquidated items for a penny on the dollar? I do. $250 culling belts that the customer wouldn't export? $25 and I get one. $600 gun cases? $60 and your gun case you didn't export is now my gun case sitting in Africa. I buy lots of knick-nacks in Africa that are from non-paying customers. Obviously, I'm not buying full pedestal taxidermy but I'm here to say I've seen warehouses full of the stuff from sticker-shocked or buyers-remorse customers that won't get their stuff out of Africa.

Waiting and hoping is not a plan. The choices are 1.) Pay what's due, or 2.) Walk away and accept your losses for sunk costs. Everything I said in my first post was "what to do in the future" but those two options are the only options in the present.
 

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So,....this morning I receive an email from Oxi Logistics advising me that my crate from Highveld Taxidermy is ready to ship. This would be the Cape Buffalo and Sable shoulder mounts along with two backskins from my May 2019 hunt with Pawprint Safaris. I anxiously scroll down the page to the price.

$4,161.02

I dropped my wine and fell to my knees. My anguished screams could be heard all over the cul-de-sac. The Goldens took a break from watching "The Dog Whisperer" to check on me, but they really were interested in a snack and not my wellbeing.

Okay, none of the above happened. I don't drink before work, but I seriously wanted to have a Gin & Tonic after seeing the invoice. I did curse a little.
The crate is listed as a volumetric weight of 367 KG and measures 162 cm(L) x 107 cm(W).

Paula of Oxi Logistics was kind enough to put the following in the email:
"Kindly note that storage and handling fees of $250 per month become applicable after your crates have been in our warehouse for 3 months if the delay is caused by the customer".

I'm tempted to ride out the three months to see if shipping goes down. I haven't responded yet. I'm going to give it the weekend. This pretty much ensures that I will never have taxidermy done in Africa again. I've been happy with the work that they've done in the past, but have started to appreciate the quality of materials that American taxidermists use after receiving my 2018 Namibia trophies from Taxidermy America. On a side note, a Gemsbok that Taxidermy America did for me fell off the wall, dropped nine feet on to tile and was not damaged other than the horns being a little loose.

I'm now dreading the cost of shipping the dipped & packed horns and hides from Zambia this last October. I'm definitely not getting the mounts in SA.

Anybody have any suggestions?

I feel bad for you. This has to be frustrating. That being said, I always enjoy the way you tell a story!

Normally I would say if shipping remains high to ask the outfitter to store it for you if it runs beyond 3 months. Unfortunately that doesn't work in your case. In this case, @lvw or others might be a good way to pass a year or so for air rates to come down.

Freight forwarders assemble full containers from, "less than full container" customers all the time. There have to be many containers like this assembled in Johannesburg every day. There should be an opportunity to get a quote for one going ocean to a port like Long Beach.(If I remember, this is a close port to you) You might see if that is a possibility.

All the best in getting a better option figured out.
 

Newboomer

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Dip and pack and get the work done at home where you have control. You save a bundle on shipping because of size and weight.
 

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