Shipping cost is probably the most asked question of all. I'm very sure it's not just asked of our products as I know some other vendors liked my responses to why does shipping cost so much. For this reason, I decided to write this post.
When shipping in the United States that are many factors to keep in mind. Do you ship cured of fresh foods, what is the weather like, what season is it, what shipping company should you use. etc?
First of all, the products that we ship fall into 2 categories. Cured meats like biltong and droëwors and fresh foods like boerewors. Cured meats can generally last longer in transit than fresh foods. Although our products were tested to shelf-stable, they can still go bad due to 2 factors. The first is moisture and the second is heat. These 2 together can cause even cured meats to go bad very quickly. You must remember that the US climate is very different than the South African climate where these products originated from. South Africa is generally much dryer than most places in the USA. We live on the southeast coast and in my experience, most of the east coast to even the mid-east coast can get warm and humid, especially in the summer months.
When shipping these products they often go through shipping warehouses that are often not temperature controlled. When we ship products we have no control over the environment or even the duration of the shipment. Even if we do select 2 or 3-day shipping it often happens that shipment takes longer. We simply have no control over this.
We ship cured meats with a 3-day shipping duration and mostly using UPS. In our experience, this service has had the best results for us and is also the cheapest. The cost varies based on the location but is mostly in the vicinity of $10.
Shipping fresh foods is a big problem. If I'm honest, I would probably not ship fresh foods like boerewors if I can help it. People though have come to love it, so that's why we do it.
We try and make it affordable for everyone, but I know that paying $40 for shipping is a lot. Some people are very lucky to have a local butcher or a boerewors vendor in their area, but everyone is not that fortunate. For this reason, we recommend that if you are going to buy and ship boerewors, don't just buy 1lb that cost around $12. It does not make sense. For this reason, we have a 5lb and a 10lb bundle.
The last thing you want is for you $150 worth of boerewors to arrive warm and spoilt.
So what makes up the cost of shipping? First of all, a specialized container is required. We went through many different types till we came to what we use today. Big food vendors like the Alaskan fish company and butchers box use the same. These boxes vary from about $5-$10 dollars apiece. This is the cheapest part of the shipment. In order to keep boerewors frozen for 2 days, it takes about 10lb of dry ice. Dry ice cost about $1.50-$2.00 per lb which brings the price to about $20 just for the ice. The most expensive part of the shipment is the actual shipping. To ship a package that ways 20lb across the country can vary from $20 to sometime $50 per shipment. So as you can see this all adds up. We cover everything above $40 as we would really love for people to have their boerie on the fire.
I really hope this helps to clarify the question, why is shipping so expensive. It is all about moisture, heat, weight, and distance traveled.