I have to say that I have had no FedEx shipments not be delivered on the day for about 7 years except for one that I was given the wrong zip code for, and then it was available that the breeder could have driven 2 hours away to pick it up that night, and chose to not go. It was re-routed and delivered first thing the next AM. I now check all adresses to make sure that the zip matches the vet's office from their webiste or some other means of verifying it. I used to rely on copy and paste from an email so I didn't make a mistake.
First, I use the online shipping program to enter and print the label. Bar codes are less likely to be misread. I always make sure to insure for $750. Then (this will not be popular, and may not really make a difference, but) I drive it to the main FedEx hub - about 45 minutes from my farm, and drop it off at 8PM. I want it dropped off when mainly just Express shipments are processed - slower, and less confusion. PLUS I track them all online from the evening, quick check in the early morning/middle of the night to make sure it got out of the sort facility, then again, first thing to make sure it is where it is supposed to be - at the local office and on the truck for delivery.
If not, I begin calling right away, as soon as they open their doors, call the mare owner, they start calling. I become a royal PITN. I make sure to tell every person I talk to STRONGLY that if not delivered that day, it will cost FedEx $750. Take their names. That makes them FEEL responsible, or that it may come back to haunt them if blown off.
I have been shipped the wrong semen (was even tempted to use it as mare was ovulating!), received another shipment a day late, and had another completely lost. All three were FedEx. And of the three mentioned above, two had been tampered with. That was two years ago, and knock on wood, things have been OK since, though I refuse to try for same day air shipments any more. Next day has to be good enough or we try another cycle. A fellow local breeder has had a nightmare season this year with FedEx and has given up in frustration trying to get compensation. I'd like to be clear about the insurance issue. Is it the stallion owner/shipper who insures the shipment? As a mare owner, should I be asking the stud farm to insure for my costs if there is a problem with the shipment? How much additional is charged by FedEx for insuring the semen over and above the usual equitainer cost? Insurance is the usually the last thing we think about when the vet is standing there with his/her green OB sleeve and says "call now", but I think having this worked out with the stud farm in advance is the answer. Just want to know what to ask and how much it should cost?
Whoever is shipping the semen needs to decare the higher value when preparing the label. I try to cover not only a lost Equitainer ($250), but the collection cost ($125) and mare's vet bills too ($375). I insure for $750, and it costs $4.80. That is included in the mare owner's FedEx bill.
GREAT NEWS and some strong suggestions for shippers
After sending our claims and 32 pages of description and supporting documentation to FedEx's executive offices & claims group,
FEDEX HAS NOT ONLY CALLED ME DIRECTLY TO APOLOGIZE BUT ALSO PAID ALL OF OUR CLAIMS WITHIN A WEEK OF OUR SUBMITTING THE CLAIMS !!!!
Go FEDEX !!!
Some lessons and my strong suggestions for future shippers (some already told by prior posters here):
1) Signup online www.fedex.com to be a FedEx customer (at no cost!) and use the online shipping system to prepare your waybills, insure them, pay for the shipments and then track them. If you need any help with signing up or learning how to prepare shipments, their call in support people are great at walking you through preparing and, god forbid there was a problem, locating shipments. Having a FedEx customer ID is definitely a plus if you have problems.
2) Make CERTAIN whoever is shipping the container (the stallion farm, vet, other) pays for the appropriate additional insurance amount on all shipments. For example, if you are receiving a semen shipment, have the shipper insure the shipment in an amount that covers not only the container but all collection, lab and mare vet fees associated with the insemination for which the semen is intended. The cost of the additional insurance is $5 per $1000 of coverage. Such a small price to pay to at least get your costs reimbursed if the shipment is delayed, lost or destroyed.
3) If you do have a serious problem with a shipment, call 1-800-GO-FEDEX, provide the call center with your tracking number and then tell them you insist on speaking with someone in Customer Advocacy in Kamloops. If it is a serious problem (shipment lost, delayed or destroyed) don't waste time discussing the problem with someone in the main call center. For our types of urgent care shipments, I have found that a general call center employee if unlikely to be able to escalate the process enough to make a difference in the outcome -- but the Customer Advocacy people in FedEx's Kamloops Center can.
4) If you have a claim, file your claim very, very promptly (definitely within a week) to get the best response. Follow the instructions at:
I have to be honest and say that I have had more problems with the veterinary hospitals or mare owners then Fed-Ex. A big one is that they don't insure the container when it is shipped back to our farm. We had a container caught in a conveyer belt and was chewed to pieces, but since it was not insured, Fed-Ex will only cover it for $100. I had a brand new container returned and it looks like someone used it as a stool with the lid open twisting the hinge totally out of shape. It was obviously on their end as the lid was duct taped shut when I received it. I receive the containers back missing the isothermalizer cups or coolant cans or someone has taken them out and dropped them causing huge dents. Sometimes, the container shows up after 2 or 3 weeks with a dose of semen still in it along with an explosive growth of mold. Yuck! I had to throw out the isothermalizer cup as I could not get the mold out of its pourous lining. The majority of the containers are being shipped back to me by veterinary hospitals or breeding facilities, so it puts me in the uncomfortable position of holding the mare owner accountable for something that they don't have a lot of control over. It is a lose-lose situation all the way around.
First of all I haven't done cooled semen in several years and had my 1st two shipments from FedEx messed up. The first shipment was left on the truck and took almost 3 hours to track it down and have it re-delivered, the second was overnighted on a Thursday for a Friday deliverly and due to FedEx was not delivered until the following Monday. I have filed a claim with Fedex. The stallion station only insured the cost of the container. I am out $$ for the collection, vet costs of several hundred dollars, on maybe a missed cyle. FedEx said their liability was only $100 since additional insurance was not bought. Fedex has told me two different answers, one said you could not insure for the semen and vet costs and the claims guy said you could. So I am soo confused and upset. Also one Fedex person told I could not file the claim since I am the 3rd party,(stallion station sending semen to vet clinic) even though I pay for everything and then another told me I could file the claim, which I did. I finally got thru to the claim adjuster for my case and he was sooo hateful. I really do not know why this happened to me on both my shipments, but it really makes me think twice again for using FedEx.
Last edited by CathyKb; Jun. 18, 2008 at 04:54 PM.