As we all have experienced of late, the cost of goods and services has increased. Due to pandemic, supply chain issues, labor shortage, stimulus increase of money supply, higher energy costs, squeezed carrier capacity, transportation lock-jams...etc. etc. you name it, we got it.
At Unique Corals, we are no different than any business in meeting these challenges. We have tried to keep shipping costs low for our customers, in fact we have forestalled a few rate hikes, as seen here at end of 2019 and since. However the time has come where we need to face the facts and adjust to the mounting costs of overnight shipping.
We use UPS overnight air shipping for our animals, packed with oxygen, heat or cold packs as needed. They are boxed in the afternoon, as to have the animals in bags as short number of hours as possible. Once we pack the animals, a shipping label is created, and the customer will receive an email with tracking information. So if you selected a receiving date in the future, your tracking information will arrive in the afternoon the day before. We are on Pacific Time, customers on the East Coast may see tracking info in the early evening. From there UPS boxes are sorted at the main facility, sent out to hubs on planes and then quickly moved onto trucks to get to your door by the next day. The heavier or larger the box, the more it will cost. When you purchase a colony versus a frag for example, even if the box is the same size, shipping charge will be more. Most coral vendors will have a flat rate shipping charge and not metered, as is the case at Unique Corals.
If you were ever curious, take a look on UPS.com, and check out their overnight Air published shipping rates. You will find the charges for a 12"x12"x12" 15 lb box to be as high as $205 or more. We do have a negotiated rate with carrier based on our standing with them, however overnight shipping is still one of the more costly variables. If something goes wrong, and the box is lost, damaged, delayed or stolen, there are even more costs involved.
In 2022 from 2021, UPS saw a rate increase of average of 5.9% https://www.refundretriever.com/blog/ups-general-rate-increases
"As you can see, the price increase for the domestic rates is above and below for different services. The two services with the highest price increase are next-day air and 3 day select, with an increase of 6.09% and 9.48%. With the Amazonification of e-commerce and buyer preferences, these are the two services that will see the greatest increase in usage in 2022. Customers want to ship at a lower cost and at their front door sooner."
As mentioned, we have not increase our rates in years. We can no longer keep it as it was. We thank you in advance for your kind understanding. Please note our new rates will be: $29.99 for overnight shipping of live coral and fish, free shipping at $225. $7.5 for shipping of dry-goods (UPS Group or USPS), free shipping at $100. Effective on April 1st. This is on par with our industry and we hope you will still have a very enjoyable experience shopping with us. We strive to please and aim for high standards in our selection, health of animals, customer service and satisfaction.