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Shipping-Live Venomous Reptiles-Delta

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Posted by: herpcagemaster at Sun Feb 20 19:33:00 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by herpcagemaster ]  

The title of my story is “Shipping Venomous Reptiles with Delta Air Cargo”. My name is Johnny and I am in the fourth grade lol! This is a long one folks so grab a soda and some popcorn.

Here is what little, but valuable, experience I’ve had with shipping venomous reptiles through Delta Air Cargo. I just shipped a crate of Crotalus atrox about a week and a half ago (as of February 20, 2011). I’m not a verified shipper either, by the way. The Delta Cargo office employee said that this particular office was the strictest in the USA. They have surprise inspections by corporate Delta employees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, FAA, US Customs, as well as other organizations that have their own rules and regulations to go by. So they run a tight ship to say the least! The employee that I was dealing with mentioned that a lot of other Delta Cargo offices in other cities are much more lenient on certain things regarding shipping live venomous reptiles. Either that or they just don’t know, or care lol.

It was quite a learning experience for me. It was the first time I’ve shipped venomous. I had some trouble, but somehow managed to get that dang crate shipped. First of all, my box wasn’t banded with two steel shipping bands. Second of all, neither one of us noticed the tiny little ventilation holes that were drilled on the ASB board, which is an IATA requirement, until after the employee whipped out his handy dandy IATA book. I double checked the box and noticed that there were, in fact, ventilation holes. Then he just HAD to call IATA and “double check”. I finally got the crate shipped after having gone through all this nonsense, but I learned from it and now I know what it takes to ship venomous reptiles using the ever so friendly and convenient, Delta Air Cargo! I was blessed by God when a cargo employee from one of the other airlines comes walking over with a roll of steel banding, the clamps, and the crimper tool and got me all fixed up.

To read what MY particular crate was like, read on. It was a wooden crate made of ASB board. I think it was ½” thick wood which might be IATA’s minimum requirement. I’m not sure. I also don’t know whether or not it was water proof, which might be another requirement from what I’ve read on other forums. Inside of the crate was a Styrofoam box with a top on it (IATA requirement-I think). Inside that, were the double bagged and knotted Crotalus atrox. Now, the Delta Cargo office employee didn’t actually open my crate and inspect all of that, but there are IATA requirements for bagging snakes, etc. I got lucky there. The bags were supposed to be zip tied (above AND below the knot-I think) and marked with what was inside each bag (again, I’m not sure on that as I don’t have the IATA 2011 book). The outer lid of the shipping crate was screwed down. What I should have done (but didn’t know at the time) was had the shipping crate banded and crimped by a local trucking company. The following is debatable and other people have had different experiences but here’s what I have experienced from receiving other venomous shipments. I think you’re supposed to have the shipper and receivers name, address, and phone number written on the top of the box. Then you’re supposed to write what’s in the box and how many of each species. If I were you, I would write “Live Venomous Reptiles” on all four sides of the crate with the “double arrows” (I think that’s required). My crate didn’t have the shipper/receiver name, address, and phone number, but it DID have the species, quantity and the guy’s name.

I think that covers everything. This was a very recent experience and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’m by no means an expert, but I have gone through a very nerve racking day when I went to ship this crate. I really want to buy the most recent copy of the IATA Live Animal Regulations which is $175 on the link below. That way you can walk into that Delta cargo office with confidence and swagger lol.

Once you know the rules and do it a couple times, it’s really not that bad. My experience wasn’t all that bad, I just had a really nervous moment there when they told me I had to have steel bands lol. I had to run to the different trucking companies there on the airport grounds in the cargo area, and no one would help me out. God threw one of his little angels at me with the other airline’s cargo guy, so I got lucky.

Oh yea there is another part to this story. I get a call from Delta on the way home saying the pilot wouldn’t accept venomous snakes on his aircraft. I went into alarm panic mode. It was funny lol. They just booked another flight two hours later which ended up working better for the guy because he wanted them a little later in the day anyways. I later found out that this is common. I got a happy phone call when the guy received his animals that I sent to him so it was all worth it in the end. Be careful packing your live venomous reptiles by the way! It's not standard routine for most people and there can be a margin of error which may mean a trip to the hospital and an unhappy buyer/reciever on who ever's end your shipping to.


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  • You Are HereShipping-Live Venomous Reptiles-Delta - herpcagemaster, Sun Feb 20 19:33:00 2011 *HOT TOPIC*

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