Shipping & Handling Fees
Some of our customers ask why
our Shipping and Handling (S&H) fees are higher than the actual Shipping costs.
Well, first and easy answer is simply S&H means Shipping & Handling and not just
Shipping! Yes, we charge for handling and I am proud to say that we are one of
the best in the business with a safe delivery rate of 98% of shipments.
The process of importing and
preparing plants is a process regulated by numerous authorities and legal
standards. A shipment from Thailand is different from a shipment from
Malaysia. All international shipments of plants require plants to be bare
Due to the damages caused to our
South Florida facilities by Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005, the
royalorchidclub.com no longer grows plants in Florida. Our facilities
serve as a transit and packing facility with limited greenhouse space. Our
plants are all grown in our farms located in Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.
We air freight regular shipments of plants to meet demand to our US facility as
well as direct to other international destinations primarily to nurseries and
wholesale bulk customers. Our retail customers located in the United
States receive their plants via our South Florida facility.
The following list of steps is a
high level summary of our process:
A customer order is received (retail or wholesale) and
then plants are selected from the farms, de-potted and inspected for quality.
Plants are treated with an approved insecticide and fungicide.
Local Authority sends out inspectors to check and test the
plants for insects, fungus, viruses and other anomalies including quality.
Once the inspection is completed, the Local Authority issues a Phytosanitary
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (aka CITES) inspects our paperwork and plants and then
issues a Cites Certificate allowing international transportation of the plants.
This is done to protect endangered and protected plants from being transported
Plants are now bare root and prepared for shipment to
their destination either to the USA or to the international destination of
choice. As orchid plants grow older roots buried in the medium harden and
hold the plant stationary while newer roots meander around the pot and medium.
On some plants, when needed, we will trim some of the older roots.
Plants are then allowed to air out in our plant racks and
excess moisture is evaporated in the warm tropical air. Plants are then
individually packaged and labeled using our PID system based on the plant type
and size. The plants are then packaged in master cases and shipped to the
USA or other destination. We usually have 2 to 3 shipments a month.
When plants arrive in the United States they are a mix of
Retail and Wholesale orders. The plants will go through another series of
inspections and test by the USDA, CITES, US Customs & Homeland Security.
This process is efficient and when completed the plants are brought to our South
Florida facility for final quality inspection and customer packaging.
Retail orders are shipped out in groups of several hundred
packages per day using USPS with delivery confirmation. Normally we ship
on Monday and Tuesdays with expected delivery by that following Friday.
Check our shipping schedule for specific dates of expected delivery. In
order to keep our costs low and ultimately our prices low, we cannot ship
outside of our posted shipping cycles.
As you can see this process
is very labor intensive and process sensitive. Any mistakes will stop
shipments dead in their tracks and cause problems or delays. Rest assured
that we are experienced in this process and rarely have trouble with the
authorities or regulators. Our plant preparation process and packing
materials we create will allow our plants to live for weeks in the box unless
they get exposed to extreme weather conditions while in transit.
We calculate our S&H fees
based on both the domestic and international portion of the trip to you from the
farm as well as add in when needed to pay for packing and labor. We do not
profit from these fees. When you compare others with us you will find our
S&H fees plus plant costs delivered to you much lower than anyone else.
If you have any questions,
always feel free to ask us. We will do our best to serve you with high
quality Customer Support and Plants!