Shipping plants is like transporting fragile glassware. It requires careful packaging and meticulous preparation. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to do it properly. So read along to know how to have a safe shipment for live plants.
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Research about the Secure Plant Shipping
If you plan to sell plants in your eCommerce business, you must know how to ship plants to their destination. So research on the following information.
Shipping Restrictions for Plants
Plant shipment varies by state and plant type. For example, different restrictions apply to every kind of plant and flower in the US. Review USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) database about the prohibited plants.
In addition, you need to understand the rules about pests and diseases. Sometimes, transporting live plants can affect the local ecosystem. Some plants need quarantining before reaching their destination. Take time to read all the regulations.
International Plant Shipment Restrictions
Do you want to expand your live plant selling across the border? Then, you need to consider their restrictions and prohibitions about some plants and seeds. So, you have to secure all the customer’s forms and declarations.
In addition, agricultural imports and exports follow separate laws and regulations. Therefore, be familiar with the organizations and departments of every country. Also, shipment for live plants requires a Phytosanitary Certificate. It is an official document from the horticulture department, agriculture, food, or water of the exporting country.
Gather the Correct Packing Materials
Packing live plants for a safe shipment is easier than you think. Typically, it needs recyclable household materials for plant protection. These are cardboard, rubber bands, newspaper, and heavy paper. Sometimes, bamboo stakes play an essential role for bigger plants. It provides stable support during transport.
Here is a list of packaging materials for the safe shipment of live plants.
- Corrugates boxes for every plant
- Lightweight or plastic pots
- Wrapping paper like newspaper or packing paper
- Lightweight plastic pots
- Bubble wrap or air-filled bags
- Paper towels
- Ties and rubber bands
- Plastic bags
- Sterilized soils
- Flea collar
These are mostly easy to find. The bottom line when choosing packaging solutions is less fancy but sturdy.
Assemble the Live Plants for Shipment
A safe shipment for live plants requires meticulous preparation. Follow these steps before you ship the plants.
Remove the plant from the soil.
The best way to ship live plants is bare roots. First, gently remove the plant’s roots from the pot. Then, shake off excess soil. Since leftover soil keeps the plant healthy during shipment, don’t rinse it off.
Wrap roots in a wet paper towel
Use a clean paper towel to wrap around the plant’s roots. Make sure to wet it with room temperature water. This method helps the plant survive throughout the shipment. In addition, it aids in maintaining the slow release of moisture.
Sheathe the plant with plastic wrap
Seal everything in place. Keep roots and paper towels in line with a plastic wrap or bag. It holds moisture when traveling. Plus, it provides better insulation for fragile roots.
Secure the plant
Now that you’re done with the roots, the top part of the plant is your next concern. With the use of rubber bands, bundle it up with newspaper. This step stabilizes errant growth. Also, it prevents plant breakage.
Place inside the box
Pack the plant inside the corrugated cardboard box. It has a strong material that can withstand any possible damage from rough handling. So that when the plant arrives at its destination, it’s still intact and in one piece. Make sure you have the right UPS box sizes by Red Stag.
Fill in the space
Inside the cardboard box, there is still extra space. Fill it with packing paper or newspaper. The extra cushion limits the room for movement during the shipment. But don’t overdo it. Leave some room for the plant to breathe inside the box.
Close the box
Tape it closed once you’re sure that the plant won’t move around the box. Also, make a few holes on each side. Allow air to pass through to avoid the plants dying inside. Then, secure all the edges tightly with sturdy packing tape. If you want to ensure a safe shipment for live plants, reinforce the edges of the box too.
Label the box
A clear label is vital during the shipment. Use a permanent marker to indicate the content of the package. For example, write either “Live Plants,” “Perishable,” or “Fragile.” It might not guarantee 100% total care, but at least people who will handle it will be gentle.
Ship the Live Plant
Once your live plant is ready for transport, contact a carrier that you know will handle it with care. Also, consider the length of shipping time. As much as possible, minimize its travel people since you’re shipping a very vulnerable product.
If you follow this assembling procedure, you can ensure a better and safe shipment for live plants.
Find the Best Courier for a Safe Shipment for Live Plants
The post office is the first choice for shipping plants. But you can still look for a private shipping company to do the job. But keep in mind that speed and security play a vital role in choosing a courier for the safe shipment of live plants.
Live Plant Shipment with UPS
It offers shipping live plants services. Also, it doesn’t ask for any packaging and labeling requirements. But you still need to abide by the state-by-state restrictions. Its safe shipment services involve:
Next Day Air – arrives at 10:30 AM. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $28.
UPS Ground – arrives at the end of the next day. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $14.
Live Plant Shipment with USPS
Before booking a safe shipment with USPS, be reminded of the different state restrictions for live plant shipment. Here are your safe shipments for live plants:
Priority Mail Express – the package arrives within 2 working days. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $20.
Priority Mail – arrives within 1 working day. Plant packages for 1 pound or less flat box rates start at $7.
Flat Rate Priority Mail in Medium size – arrives within 1-3 working days. Plant packages for 1 pound or less flat box rates start at $12.
Live Plant Shipment with FedEx
It follows strict state-by-state restrictions. But it doesn’t require you to use any special packing and labeling requirements. FedEx highly suggests applying for overnight services as a perishable product for shipment.
First Overnight – arrives at 8 in the morning. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $64.
FedEx Priority Overnight – arrives at 10:30 in the morning. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $30.
FedEx Standard Overnight – arrives by 3 in the afternoon. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $28.
FedEx Ground – arrived by the end of the day. Plant package rates for 1 pound or less start at $9.
The shipping cost and time depend on which service you apply. But you still need to take note of the package weight and destination. However, you might pay more for overnight or 1-day services but delivering it as soon as possible guarantees better plant quality.
More About It
Shipping live plants can be a challenging process, as plants are delicate and require specific conditions to thrive. However, with the right preparation, you can ensure that your plants arrive at their destination in excellent condition. Here are some tips for a safe shipment of live plants.
- Choose the Right Time to Ship: It’s essential to choose the right time to ship your plants. Avoid shipping during extreme temperatures, as this can damage the plants. If you’re shipping during the winter or summer months, consider using expedited shipping to reduce the time the plants spend in transit.
- Proper Packaging: Proper packaging is essential to protect the plants during shipping. Use sturdy, double-layered cardboard boxes, and make sure the plants are secured in the box with cushioning materials such as packing peanuts or bubble wrap. If shipping multiple plants, pack them separately to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
- Label the Box: Clearly label the box as containing live plants, and mark it as fragile. This will help the shipping company handle the box with care.
- Choose the Right Shipping Company: Not all shipping companies are created equal. Look for a company specializing in shipping live plants and has experience handling delicate shipments.
- Inform the Recipient: Inform the recipient about the shipment, so they can be prepared to receive the plants. It’s also a good idea to include care instructions with the shipment to help the recipient keep the plants healthy.
In conclusion, shipping live plants can be challenging, but with the right preparation, you can ensure that your plants arrive at their destination in excellent condition. By following these tips, you can have a safe shipment for your live plants.
Now that you know how to have a safe shipment for live plants, you’ll have a better experience. First, it’s necessary to be physically close to locations. Then, remember that minimal transit time for packing and distributing helps a better and more secure shipment.