Shipping Live Animals with USPS

While USPS allows for the shipment of certain live animals like bees and day-old chicks, Pirate Ship unfortunately doesn't offer the Special Handling services you need to ship them in accordance with USPS policy 😔

Properly shipping live animals like bees and day-old chicks

Due to their fragile nature, you must declare any shipments of bees and hatchlings as “Live Animals” prior to creating labels. This allows USPS to properly identify and flag these shipments for Special Handling. You’ll also need to be aware of certain guidelines and conditions, which include:

  • What service you use to ship (for example, a queen honey bee gets to enjoy the regal benefit of air-based services like Priority Mail, while her royal subject drones can only go via ground service 🐝)

  • Avoiding temperature extremes which could harm the animals, restricting shipping them to certain months of the year, and shipping only during certain periods of their life cycle (e.g., chicks must reach their destination within 72 hours of hatching - so you may want to opt for an overnight service like Priority Mail Express 🐣)

  • Special Handling fees that will apply

To ship live animals with USPS, you need to go to a Post Office

Sorry we can't help you out with this type of shipment 😢 But to make sure your animals remain safe, you'll need to go to your local Post Office to purchase the postage.

Shipping Live Animals with UPS

UPS is more accepting of shipments containing live animals! Still, they restrict these packages to certain animals and reptiles. Here are types of animals UPS accepts:

  • Amphibians (All) – Examples: frogs, salamanders, toads

  • Cephalopod (All) – Examples: squid, octopus, nautilus

  • Crustaceans (All) – Examples: crabs, crawfish, lobsters, shrimp

  • Fish (All)

  • Insects (Limited to beneficial insects only) – Examples: bees, butterflies, crickets, lady bugs

  • Mollusks (All) – Examples: clams, mussels, snails

  • Reptiles (Limited to the following): Lizards, such as chameleons, geckos, iguanas, monitors, and flying dragons

  • Turtles, such as freshwater turtles (excluding snapping turtles), land tortoises, and sea turtles

  • Worms (All)

NOTE: Like USPS shipments, Pirate Ship doesn't offer any Special Handling service for UPS packages. So, if you need to send a shipment with UPS containing any of the above animals, we still suggest visiting your local UPS Store and doing it through them 👍

Have any questions? Feel free to chat in with our support crew for a helping hook 😎

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