Obscene Trophy Shipping Costs

C.W. Richter

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809 lbs? ?? ??? Never, ever had a package so heavy from Africa, including buffalo heads, hides, giraffe skins, skulls, hippo, etc.! Demand an Ocean Freight price. I've never had any issues shipping that way. Also, the old-schoolers like to use wooden crates when the norm now is to use very heavy duty cardboard (cutting further on shipping costs.) Sounds like they're smuggling something else in your "crate!" smh What's in the box?
 

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@rookhawk I appreciate the words of advice. You're right. You really are at the mercy of everyone in the process. My mounts are plain shoulder mounts and while at least one of the animals is large, he's not that big. The crate overall is smaller than ones that I've shipped in the past.
I'm not walking away from this. If I have the option of non-charged storage for a couple months to see if the price goes down, I'll take the chance.

In retrospect, I wish that I had the hides and horns dipped and packed. Obviously, there have been significant delays because of Covid, but it started with extended delays from Pawprint. My future safaris will all involve dip & pack. I would say confidently that I saved money in the past by having taxidermy done in SA. I never felt that I was cheated. I don't believe that Oxi Logistics is cheating me now. The freight runs what it does.

I want to be clear. I have the assets to pay for the shipping as it is now. However, the exceedingly higher price irritates me. We are all aware of the forces at work to ban sport-hunted trophies. Getting the Hides & horns out quickly makes more sense than adding an additional year to the process.

I thank everyone for their advice. This will work out.
 

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I feel for you. If the permits are not going to time out, storing those mounts with some added mothballs is an option.

Gouging is the sad lesson in the aftermath of too many Safaris.

Anyone who cares:
Volumetric Weight is a shipping term. Please look it up.
50 lbs of loose feathers will cost more than your 50lb Gold brick.

Anyone comparing the shipping costs of a Buffalo vs Plains Game is Apples and Oranges.

Buffalo Shoulder Mounts are MONSTROUS. That is a lot of cubic feet.
Airline Bans in hauling the Buffalo - cuts options drastically.

Covid cut the number of planes going anywhere.
Freight Charges are determined by the market today.
Apparently a flight on Delta to Joburg today is PRICELESS. You can't buy one.

Freight Consolidation is a real thing. It can save money. It only works if there is available space.

Control with your taxidermy with a US Taxidermist. How's that working out, ask @Royal27 etal.
 

C.W. Richter

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No doubt linked to the rising Oil prices. They should not charge a Vanguard Mark V prices! It's just wrong. Wasting $ at any income level is wasting $. Something many wives need to be schooled on.
 

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WOW! For that price can you fly there, pick up your crate, ship it with you on the same plane, clear it yourself (since they are finished trophies) and rent a pickup to drive home from the closest airport? I had a similar experience from New Zealand about 15 years ago. One trophy (stag) with removable antlers they wanted $1400 for shipping. The roundtrip plane tickets at that time were $700. I told them I would come pick it up myself. They "renegotiated" down to $950 so I accepted. I don't know if that is an option for you but you might consider it. Good luck with whatever you decide. I always have a reasonable quote before I go on a trip for shipping trophies (dip and pack) back so I can decide what to do with them while still there.
 

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We are all dealing with animals or trophies sitting in Africa right now, it’s frustrating and irritating. This world is pretty unforgiving and messed up. When people ask when I’m going back to Africa, I quote when things go back to normal....period.
 

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*There are some nice taxidermists out there! ('Have one in Namib holding a trophy of a lifetime for my Son-the arrangement is that we WILL be back, and will add more trophies to the lot, and we will both prosper as a result!) Should've shipped under TRUMP! ;)
 

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Control with your taxidermy with a US Taxidermist. How's that working out, ask @Royal27 etal.

Yup there can be problems anywhere, no doubt.

I switched to U.S. taxidermy exactly because of the shipping eating up the savings, but dang.....

A sable and a buffalo take up a lot of space as Wayne said. Still probably 2x what it would have been a couple of years again, maybe slightly under that?

Point being, I don't think it will take long to eat up any savings. The one thing you might do is look for some other freight companies and see if they will give you a better price.
 

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*There are some nice taxidermists out there! ('Have one in Namib holding a trophy of a lifetime for my Son-the arrangement is that we WILL be back, and will add more trophies to the lot, and we will both prosper as a result!) Should've shipped under TRUMP! ;)
I appreciate the sentiment. Shipping during the Trump presidency wasn't an option, particularly because of the delays early on.
Like I said, I'm not walking away from these. I'd like to see if the price goes down. I think as more airlines restart their routes to SA, it is doubtful that it will go up.
 

C.W. Richter

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check ocean freight!!! although the oil prices are UP, it undoubtedly will be cheaper.
 

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Based upon the expected astronomical price increase for a pending shipping i decided to trade my Bots PH a full body mount bushbuck for hunt fees for this years visit. this significantly reduced volume and weight. He was thrilled to get it to display at his camp. win win. Sometimes the medicine just tastes too bitter to take it.
 

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809 lbs? ?? ??? Never, ever had a package so heavy from Africa, including buffalo heads, hides, giraffe skins, skulls, hippo, etc.! Demand an Ocean Freight price. I've never had any issues shipping that way. Also, the old-schoolers like to use wooden crates when the norm now is to use very heavy duty cardboard (cutting further on shipping costs.) Sounds like they're smuggling something else in your "crate!" smh What's in the box?

@C.W. Richter the OP stated the volumetric weight was 367 Kg. That does not necessarily mean the actual weight is 809 lbs. More likely it is a large crate that takes up a lot of volume. Most taxidermist shops in Africa are masters of efficiently packing crates, but perhaps there was no getting around the fact that a cape buffalo and sable shoulder mounts take up some space. However, as I stated earlier, I shipped one Zebra flat skin and shoulder mounts for Eland, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Bushbuck x2 and Warthog x2 and that totaled 138 Kg volumetric weight. 138 Kg = 304 lbs., but the crate actually weighed less than 200 lbs. I would think there isn't a huge difference in the size of an Eland and Waterbuck vs a buffalo and sable. I could be wrong though.

The 367 Kg really appears to be overly large. Perhaps someone had their thumb on the proverbial volumetric weight scale.

What Is Volumetric Weight and How Is It Calculated?

Have you ever tried to close a suitcase, but you couldn’t zip it all the way because it was too full? The same stands true for carriers transporting your products: their space is limited, it’ll eventually reach capacity, and somebody’s stuff will have to be left out so the truck/plane/train/shipping container can be zipped shut.
Every carrier, no matter the shipping method, has developed packing strategies to maximize their capacity and ultimately their revenue. To that end, carriers also created a technique to measure volumetric weight to make the most out of lightweight items that occupy more space.
In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about volumetric weight, how it’s calculated, and best of all, how you can avoid it (or at least reduce it).

What is volumetric weight?​

Not all weight is created equal. What you consider “light and soft” could conceivably take up a lot of space and hinder carriers from shipping with other products. Picture it this way: It costs more to ship a plane full of feather pillows than one filled with smartphones. The pillows take up more space, they cost less, and you need more shipments to make a significant profit.
That being said, volumetric weight—also known as dimensional weight—is a pricing technique used by shipping companies to ensure that they don’t lose money on large, lightweight shipments (like your pillows). Volumetric weight is calculated with a formula using the volume weight of a package based on the actual dimensions of the box.
While physical weight is the weight of the shipment according to the scale, volumetric weight is calculated based on the package’s length, width, and height. As a result, that oversized boxful of pillows might be considered heavier than a tiny little box of smartphones.

How is volumetric weight calculated?​

To calculate volumetric weight, measure the length, width, and height of the box. Then multiply the results to obtain the cubic size of your package.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a box measuring 40 inches x 16 inches x 16 inches. Multiplying the three dimensions — 40 • 16 • 16 — gets you 10,240 cubic inches.
Depending on the carrier, you’ll divide the total cubic inches by the dimensional weight divisor. For FedEx and UPS, the retail dimensional weight divisor is 139, while both DHL and USPS use 166 as the DIM factor for packages less than 1,728 cubic inches (or 1 cubic foot).
So, if you ship that box domestically via UPS, its dimensional weight equals 74 lbs (or 10,240 divided by 139).
Note: In kilograms, the formula is L*W*H/6000 for domestic shipments and L*W*H/5000 for international shipments.
 

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After a year of delays i finally recieved my last batch of taxidermy from south africa two weeks ago. The only airline flying freight out of SA to the UK was turkish airlines, So my trophies visited countries i never have and yes prices have gone up. The best extra charge was at heathrow there is now a covid charge £ 20 pounds any excuse.
 

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On every shipment, I check the added on insurance cost. My first trip, the insurance was for $10,000 on $3500 worth of taxidermy and total costs for the hunt were a little over half that. Called and got that knocked down. Didn't save a lot of money but as previously posted, regardless of your pocketbook, wasting money is wasting money.
 

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While we are on the subject I think that everyone needs to take a hard look at this when planning your trip. It doesn't matter if it is your first trip or if you have been to Africa a dozen times.

I'm in the process of planning my second trip over and bringing home the crate is one of the things that I am looking at right now. It is always good to talk with your importer to see what they can tell you about it. They do it all the time and should have some good knowledge of what the cost is going to be.
 

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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?
This is a 2020/2021 Covid related problem. There are still many fewer flights than normal. I paid $5500 for a shipment from Namibia that should be here Monday. This is about double what is normal. I would have left it there and waited until another Namibia safari if it didn’t have a giraffe in it.
We are stuck with these higher fees for a while on everything from shipping to flights to other miscellaneous costs such as testing.
I would say bite the bullet and get it here.
Regards
Philip
 

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@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.
Sorry but this is incorrect. There ARE fewer flights right now especially to Namibia. This is what is driving up the costs of air freight plain and simple. I’ve never paid over $3000 even for two big crates in the past.
From what I understand, and I do keep up with these things, there are a few airlines who don’t carry the big 5 hunting trophies. I’ve not heard of any airline that accepts no hunting trophies of any kind. Do you have an actual news story on this? If so I’d like to see it.
 

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check ocean freight!!! although the oil prices are UP, it undoubtedly will be cheaper.
The problem is the port fees eat you up and it winds up costing more in some cases. I always check to see if ocean freight will work but it has only one time I can remember.
 

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The last lot of trophies i had from namibia they put on a lorry to johannesburg to fly out with turkish airlines because of no planes were flying .
 

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