For Sports Hunting and Shooting Enthusiasts. A Knowledgeable Source for Shipping.

Phoenix International Business Logistics is well-known as a freight forwarder and U.S. Customs Broker, able to move common cargo and colossal shipments, whether that means transporting an 80,000 lb. solar home or a life-size windmill. But we recognize, as many do, that shipping arms-related items is one of the most complicated specialties in freight management.

At PIBL our experts possess twenty years of experience in transporting items for companies and individuals involved with sports hunting and shooting. From smokeless powder and small arms cartridges to hunting rifles and trophy importation, we routinely manage the movement of these types of shipments. PIBL can coordinate all of the logistics of such transport, as well as securing the necessary approval from carriers, preparing the required documentation, providing customs clearance support, and lodging the State Department licenses with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

According to Cathy Arredia, General Cargo Branch Manager of the PIBL office in Chicago, the company’s hub for sports hunting transportation logistics, “Assuring a smooth shipment from the point of origin to delivery is a complex endeavor. It requires enormous attention to detail, as well as extensive knowledge that is continuously updated. A handful of companies are equipped with the type of experience required to organize such shipments, which have grown progressively more challenging since 911, due to increasing regulation and compliance requirements.” Ms. Arredia, whose professional experience in shipping sports hunting cargo spans two decades, adds, “The coordination of documentation and logistical planning is an intricate process. We must always be aware of the world around us when moving this type of commodity, including the political, religious and cultural climates at the time of the shipment. It certainly helps to have a highly experienced agent network around the world that also understands the complexities of these shipments.”

The PIBL portfolio of clients has grown from CEOs on safari, to manufacturers providing small arms cartridges for distribution to stateside retailers, as well as exhibitors at trade shows such as the Shot Show in Las Vegas in January (now in its 35th year of operation with attendees that are professionals in shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement). Some of the companies and individuals that PIBL has serviced in recent years include:

RUAG: This ammunitions manufacturer, based in Switzerland, regularly exports new products for distribution through American sports hunting and hobby shooting retailers. Large containers with small arms cartridges are shipped monthly from European ports.

U.S. OLYMPIC SHOOTING TEAM: PIBL transported pistols and ammunition for the U.S. Olympic team to be used at a shooting competition in Greece, consolidating the athletes' items into one secure shipment.

2011 POLICEMAN AND FIREMAN GAMES :  PIBL served as the official international freight forwarder for this event, which involved 15,000 police officers and firefighters from 70 countries participating in 69 different sports.

CORPORATE EXECUTIVE: PIBL came to the aid of a traveling executive who required assistance transporting antique rifles on New Year’s Eve, after facing customs clearance obstacles at an airport.

PIBL offers its extensive experience with transport logistics, documentation preparation and customs clearance efforts for shipments that contain:

  • small arms cartridges
  • smokeless powder
  • hunting rifles
  • shotguns
  • equipment to test the caliber of cartridges
  • related promotional materials, such as prototypes of products

Ms. Arredia offers these recommendations for those who are considering future shipments in the sports shooting and hunting arena. She is available for guidance and estimate development, as well as speaking engagements. Some of her tips are:

  • Start the licensing process early. Two months ahead of the ship date is a reasonable timeframe.
  • If you have doubts or uncertainty about the importance of a detail, ask the question. Don’t hesitate to ask questions as many times as you wish and provide as much information as you can about the cargo. She describes situations where the type of material being used, such as brass in casings, made a difference in the ports available for delivery. Be upfront and be relentless with your questions.
  • If you are planning to have a sports trophy shipped from Africa, it’s best to have a trophy done by a professional taxidermist. The taxidermist can provide authentication on the species and the process, which enables smoother transportation of this item. There are considerable regulations involved with importing hunting trophies into the U.S., including strict domestic measures related to the Endangered Species Act.
  • Many freight forwarders do not want to handle sporting arms-related shipments because of the attention to detail required, intensive coordination with government agencies, and the investment in ongoing education. Research the freight forwarder that you are considering to understand their abilities in these vital areas. For example, PIBL had one case where it needed to move a container on a U.S. highway in Florida, requiring a hazardous materials license. Ms. Arredia added, “We understand these needs thoroughly as our Chicago staff is fully certified in hazardous material handling, and so could readily organize this type of specialized transport.”

PIBL, based in Elizabeth, N.J., is a licensed U.S. Customs broker and international freight forwarder with offices in New Jersey, Chicago and Las Vegas.