Shipping Rate Change, and Better Understanding of Overnight Shipping of Aquatic Animals

Shipping Rate Change, and Better Understanding of Overnight Shipping of Aquatic Animals

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, 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%

"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.

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UPS updates their service agreement - no guarantees

UPS updates their service agreement - no guarantees

The safe arrival of your packages is very important to us. We want to see every animal and parcel get to your door in the shortest amount of time.

However, every Holiday season the shipping companies will experience bottlenecks, delays, and mishaps.  

For the time being, UPS is not guaranteeing delivery by 10:30am for overnight shipping at this time. When we create your label it will determine a time to expect the package. Most labels have been 3 pm, but some labels are saying End Of Day. Please check your tracking number to closely monitor delivery times. During this time of "no guarantee", UPS will not issue refunds or compensation for missed or delayed packages.  Thank you for your cooperation!

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Shipping update from UPS, during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Customers are asking us a few key questions:
  1. Can I count on UPS to deliver safely?
  2. How can UPS help my business?
  3. Is UPS supporting healthcare and pandemic response?

UPS is Helping the Healthcare Industry to Fight Coronavirus

Count on UPS to Keep Delivering

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UPS increases rates at the end 2019, UniqueCorals will keep the rates the same for its customers

UPS increases rates at the end 2019, UniqueCorals will keep the rates the same for its customers

Effective December 29, 2019, UPS made the following changes:

  • The rates for UPS® Ground, UPS Air and International services will increase an average net 4.9%. 
  • A Rebill fee will be assessed for each request to change the billing account for a shipment. 
  • A Prohibited Item fee will apply to packages containing prohibited articles or restricted articles not in compliance with all UPS policies and procedures and applicable laws and regulations if found in the UPS system. 
  • Value-added services and other charges will apply to undeliverable packages returned to the shipper. 
  • UPS reserves the right to assess a late payment fee in an amount set forth in the UPS Tariff/Terms and Conditions of Service if an invoice is not paid in full by the invoice due date. 
  • The weight threshold for applying an Additional Handling surcharge will be lowered from 70 pounds to 50 pounds actual weight for UPS Ground and UPS Air services.
  • The list of ZIP codes to which Delivery Area Surcharges and Extended Area Surcharges apply will change. See updated zip code listings below (under 2020 Preview Rates) for more information.
  • A processing fee will apply to each request to file a single entry under Entry Type 86 for a shipment that normally qualifies for U.S. customs clearance under a consolidated manifest.
  • The rates for certain value-added services and other charges will increase.

All shipping carriers including UPS and FedEx increased their rates for 2020.

Shipping costs have gone up on average 4.9%, and in some cases more, due to weight threshold lowered from 70lb to 50lb, and Saturday Delivery fee increasing, etc.

At, we value our customers, and we want you to have the best online shopping experience. There are many variables at play when it comes to shipping, such as weather, hub delays, delivery driver delays, and other unpredictable mishaps. 99% of the time it is due to the carrier and we cannot control the transit process. We very much appreciate you trusting us to do everything in our power to get your animal to you safe and sound, and also working with us to ameliorate any shipper issues. THANK YOU!

UniqueCorals will absorb the increases and not raise shipping prices to show our gratitude. We hope you will continue to shop with us in the coming year and beyond.


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