Live Fish Delivery – Expensive?

APC have long been the ‘go to’ courier for live fish delivery in the UK. The process is fairly straightforwards and does carry a premium. Essentially us retailers pack fish for delivery, book the service online and then your new water buddies are collected from us and delivered to you the next day before 1230. Very few errors occur and given the current health pandemic, service has been fairly consistent and without too much delay.

From 1st February APC are launching a ‘new’ service dedicated for live fish and corals. This is, from what we ascertain, is exactly the same service level as before, but a greater priority given to the precious cargo. With this comes a price increase. It appears the standard cost is now £35 for live fish deliveries for all package weights (compared to our old prices of £18.50 and £22.50 rates for <5kg and 5kg+ respectively).

Now, this comes as hefty increase (and bear in mind that the £35 does not include the cost of the actual packaging we use but we are taking this on the chin!) but APC are now the only courier for live fish in the UK (UPS ceased live fish delivery on 1st Jan as their transport of live fish was under EU regulations). We do not make any money on the transport costs. But, it is worth bearing in mind what the £35 does actually entail. Situated in the Midlands we can ship fish to Newcastle for example for this cost. Some 170 miles away. This still represents a saving compared to fuel costs for that journey, not to mention the time saved in the car. There are always a minimum of 2 attempts to deliver the fish and the 2nd attempt will trigger a call to us for them to be left safe. Fish are not returned to us if the purchaser is not home (thankfully people ordering fish are at home as we supply a delivery day!). In the event of an mis-sort or delay, APC will now arrange a same day correction by courier or driver to the correct destination to ensure they arrive on the intended delivery day.

Given the increase, we have been working for a cost effective solution that allows a more favorable price for delivery, a great selection of quality fish and quality of service. With this in mind (not to mention the standard supplier increases into us as well) we have worked tirelessly on our prices across our live fish to give discount where we can to larger orders as well as reducing delivery costs on these orders. This does mean that smaller orders will be subject to a surcharge (full cost) where packaging materials and other costs would result in a loss to us. However, the good news is that based on most of the orders we receive through the website, the delivery cost will be £22.50 with bulk orders now qualifying for Free delivery. Regardless of the delivery cost, our prices remain competitive in the industry.

If you still find yourself thinking that it’s still too expensive, then consider this: Our 20 pond fish mix costs £74.50 delivered under the new price structure for example. Those fish are delivered to your door in an approved, safe and secure manner without the need for you to leave your home. Each fish costs less lunch meal deal (and I know the prices of these all too well!). And given good care, will live for 15 years+ and bring much pleasure! And at £3.73 each they are still represent a saving on most garden centres too!

The alternatives? Well I am already aware of a ‘dealer’ that is not prepared to foot the cost for this and will incorrectly mark the packages as non fish. Not the most thought out plan, as dry goods (non fish) do not receive the same priority and there is a significant chance of fish being delayed if sent in this manner. With the current health pandemic, and the huge uplift in dry goods in every courier network, this is not a risk we suggest you take as delays are highly likely. Take a brief look through eBay and there are many sellers offering live fish delivery via Royal Mail SD or Parcel force. None of these courier services permit the transport of live fish or hold the necessary licences to do so from DEFRA. This is not how we operate, and if people chose to take the cheapest price available then that is their choice. However, we receive many calls every year from people asking if we know about ‘so and so aquatics’ as they have had bad fish from them and can’t get a resolution!

We have almost finalised our 2021 prices and completed the delivery discount structure. We will upload details to our delivery information page (Here) in the next week (around 27th Jan 2021) ready for the roll out of the new prices effective 1st February 2021.

It remains up to the customer to decide if the costs are too expensive, we have highlighted the details and hopefully explained why the costs are as such and hope that everyone remains safe in 2021 and we can return to some normality soon!