4 Tips for Shipping Live Plants Via Courier

May 11, 2021

Shipping anything that’s alive adds an element of risk to the transaction: baby chicks, orchids, a box of crickets for a gecko. As the shipper, you want the order to arrive at its destination alive and well. The best way to do that is to work with the Rocky Mountain area’s top courier service — Western Peaks Logistics.

Although people do ship live boa constrictors and even crocodiles, the truth is we don’t see too much of that here at Western Peaks Logistics. More common — and much less frightening — are live plants. What’s the best way to ship a live plant to help ensure its safe arrival? Our experts have a few tips for you.

1. Be sure your shipment is legal.

It’s against the law to ship some live plants, fruits, or vegetables from one state to another in the United States. This is due to the possibility of spreading fungi and other diseases that could harm crops. In the case of nonflowering plants, many states prohibit these in order to keep out invasive species. Check to make sure your shipment is legal before you send it with your courier.

2. Prepare the plant for shipping.

Preparation generally involves removing the plant from the soil and wrapping the roots in wet paper towels. Next, place the plant in a plastic bag to preserve moisture. This helps prevent the plant from drying out on its multi-day journey.

Choose a sturdy box for your plant. Don’t try to save money by reusing an old flimsy box. Your box must protect your delicate plant from harm. Try to select a box that is not much bigger than the plant — you want your plant to fit snugly inside with some packing material so it doesn’t get jounced around too much.

You can ship your plant in a container, but this adds risk. First of all, the container and the soil will make the shipment much heavier, and therefore more costly. Secondly, you will have to find a tall enough box to hold the plant upright. You will also have to take steps to immobilize the plant in the container so that the plant doesn’t break, and carefully cushion the container in bubble wrap.

3. Mark your box appropriately.

If you’re shipping a plant in a container, write clearly on the box, “This side up,” with an arrow pointing up. To be safe, write it on all four sides of the box.

Also write, “Perishable: live plant” to let the shippers know to be extra careful with your box and to hurry it along.

4. Choose the right day to ship.

Check with your shipper to see if they work on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. If they don’t work on some of these days, keep this in mind when you ship. Avoid shipping on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday if your shipping company doesn’t work weekends. Sticking with Mondays and Tuesdays helps ensure your live plant will get to its destination without any unnecessary delay.

Top Logistics Co. in Utah, Idaho, and Colorado

If you’re shipping a live plant — or any other goods — to Salt Lake City, Boise, Denver, or any city or small town in the Rocky Mountain West, work with Western Peaks Logistics. We’re known as the area’s most reliable courier service. We also provide freight forwarding and distribution services. Contact us to find out more about shipping and rates.

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