Thousands of Consecutive Successful Semen Shipments and Counting.
Compared to other systems that do not actively control semen temperature the Ship-mate slowly cools down and holds the temperature at exactly 5°C/41°F. This makes a huge difference in semen viability even on shipments that take up to 3-4 days. And it is small so overnight and return shipping cost are considerably less.
Developed and manufactured by Innovative Technology Ltd., Elk City, Oklahoma.
- Double walled stainless steel flask. 130mm tall, 90mm in diameter.
- The flask holds 350ml, enough for many samples shipped together
- Powered by a D sized alkaline battery.
Ship-Mate will make a huge difference in your ability to ship chilled semen reliably. The traditional method of shipping chilled semen is by using passive system. Ice packs in the shipping container cool the specimen, but there is no way to control the rate that the specimen is cooled or the final temperature that it is cooled to. The results are inconsistent and unreliable.
Ship-Mate controls both the cooling rate and final temperature of the specimen. Ship-Mate uses a double walled stainless steel flask that is surround by ice packs inside an insulated foam shipping box. The ice packs alone would damage the specimen by cooling it too fast causing Cold Shock and also potentially freezing the specimen.
A microprocessor, temperature sensor, heater, and memory are the secrets to successfully shipping chilled semen. The specimen temperature is measured and a small amount of heat is added to the flask thereby controlling the cooling to the ideal rate of 0.5 °C / minute until the sample reaches 18 °C. Then the sample is cooled very slowly at a rate of 1 °C every 20 minutes to exactly 5 °C , this slow cooling rate is necessary to prevent Cold Shock. For the remainder of the trip the sample is held at 5 °C the optimum temperature. It takes about 4.5 hours to properly reach the 5 °C plateau.
The whole process is automated using Ship-Mate, there is no setup required, just load the box with ice packs insert a fresh D cell alkaline battery and Ship-Mate does the rest. (more ice and bigger insulated box would be required for a trip that lasts longer).
If you’ve had shipping issues contact your supplier. To check on a shipment status use the package tracking number if you have one. If you don’t get the answers you’re looking for by calling the global number for the shipping company (UPS or FedEx), try calling your local shipping company’s distribution office.
You’ll want to AI as soon as possible. If you cannot AI right away, put the whole box in the refrigerator not the freezer. If the package took a day to get to you, you can keep it in the refrigerator for another day. Though it is possible to keep it in the refrigerator longer, it is not recommended. Remember the longer the delay in AI, the lower the viability of the semen and a lower chance of a successful AI.
Open the Ship-Mate and remove the Whirl Pack. You do not have to warm up the semen. Follow normal AI procedures. When you’re done, please remove the battery from the Ship-Mate lid and ship it back to the supplier using the shipping label provided.
1. Get In Touch
It’s recommended you finalize your shipping options with your client before you even get started. This way when your client is ready, you can ship quickly and with little hassle. We’ll have more shipping information and tips a bit further down.
2. Get Ready
You should have the following on-hand and ready just before you collect:
- A clean Styrofoam cup to collect in
- AndroPRO ChillGuard ST Semen Extender (warmed up)
- a Nasco Whirl-Pak collection bag
- a marker ink pen
- A new D sized alkaline battery
- an insulated shipping carton
- already frozen solid gel ice packs
- all your shipping documentation
3. Ready the ShipMate
Put the new D sized alkaline battery into the bottom of the Ship-Mate lid.
After you do, if you see a rapidly flashing red light on the top of the lid, you’ll need a new battery.
If you see a rapidly flashing yellow light you already have log data recorded.
To reset the log:
- Swipe 5 times over the sensor
- The LED will start rapidly flashing redCover the sensor
- The LED will stop flashing
- Uncover the sensorThe LED will flash green if the log has been reset
- Note: The log can only be reset during the first 5 minutes of the Ship-Mate being powered up. After that the log cannot be cleared until you download the log with our software or pull the battery and put it back in.
4. - Ready the Extender
We use and recommend AndroPRO ChillGuard ST Semen Extender by MOFA Globa. For information on AndroPRO ChillGuard ST please visit www.mofaglobal.com.
Place the extender vial in some warm water to bring its temperature up. This will help prevent thermal shock when you prepare your semen later.
5 - Collecting
We use and recommend Nasco Whirl-Pak collection bags. For more information on them please visit www.enasco.com/whirlpak.
Just before you collect, first and very important, with the marker write the collection information on the Whirl-Pak collection bag. Write down the name of the animal and the date and time of the collection. This will prevent any confusion later.
Collect the semen into a clean Styrofoam cup. The Styrofoam cup is temperature neutral. When collecting you want the sperm rich fraction.
Pour the sperm rich fraction into the Whirl-Pak. Next take 3 cc of the INSEMIN-AID Semen Extender and put it into the cup you collected with. Swirl it around to get any left over semen.
Slowly pour the extender solution into the Whirl-Pak. Go slowly to temper the semen solution.
6 - Pack for Shipping
Seal and roll up the Whirl-Pak, place it into the Ship-Mate, and then screw the Ship-Mate lid on.
Place the Ship-Mate surrounded by the frozen gel ice packs (the gel ice packs should be frozen solid, not squishy) inside the insulated carton. If you’re providing them for the client, place a new syringe and AI rod inside the insulated carton with the Ship-Mate. Put the Styrofoam lid back on the insulated carton.
If you’re sending documentation to the client, put it on top of the Styrofoam lid before you seal the box for shipping. This documentation can include collection information, return shipping information, return shipping label, AI instructions, sales receipt, brochures, and business cards.
Seal up the insulated carton, stick on the shipping label, and you’re ready for shipping.
Additional Shipping Info & Tips
Its best before you even begin all this, you’ve worked out how you’re going to ship to the client. Which services are available to them: UPS, FedEx, USPS, Greyhound, or do some special arrangements need to be made? What time do deliveries usually arrive for them? More urban areas usually receive shipments earlier than rural ones. Is this going to their home or veterinarian’s office? Get as many questions answered as you can. It’ll make shipping that much easier later when your client is ready for you.
Don’t forget to put a return shipping label in the box so they can send the Ship-Mate back to you. On the outside of the box make sure you’ve clearly identify who the shipment is for. If you’re shipping UPS Overnight on Friday be sure you use the Saturday delivery (1S) label otherwise it might not deliver until Monday.
Keep in mind the weather. If you can, find out where the hubs are. For example if there’s a blizzard in Louisville or a bad thunderstorm in Memphis, your package could be delayed.
One day shipping to Hawaii or Alaska could take an extra day depending on the carrier.