The Hidden Dangers of Shipping Genetics – And the Technology That Ensures a Safe Journey

Feb 24, 2021 4:11:13 PM | By Tony Thomas, Executive Director - Business Development, Animal Health

If you’ve ever wondered just how safe it is to send genetics, I can tell you that you’re right to be concerned. These shipments often experience severblows, strong enough to render a human unconscious three times over. Even if the box is labeled “THIS SIDE UP” or “HANDLE WITH CARE,” these shipments are regularly placed sideways or upside-down. These not-so-minor bumps along the way can also dramatically affect the internal temperature of the package, and thus the viability of the genetics when they finally arrive to their destination. 

How do I know this? I work for Cryoport Systems, which specializes in temperature-sensitive shipping. Our technology tracks the internal and external conditions of each shipment every five minutes, and we have plenty of data to show that the journey from point A to B is rarely a smooth one. 

So if your valuable animal  genetics are being transported with as much care as luggage being hurled onto an airplane, how can you know it’s still in-tact and viable when it arrives? For starters, choose your shipping company carefully. Cryoport specializes in the transport of sensitive specimens, and our Live View™ technology logs the location, temperature, orientation, and shock events throughout the journey. Furthermore, our tracking system automatically alerts staff if the shipment is in danger, and our team can intervene if necessary.  

In my experience, growing up on a working farm and early career in the global animal breeding industry, I have seen many instances where animal breeders rely on their own old or untested shippers to ship their geneticsI have also heard many horror stories of shippers being dropped, tipped over or even lost along the way – all without knowledge if when or where this happens or any accountability for the carrierCryoport rigorously tests each shipper before each use to ensure it’s safe and can handle the journey, and shippers are removed from the fleet if they do not meet our rigorous criteria.  

Our global logistics centers also provide medical-grade cleaning and disinfection for all equipment, which is a proprietary service no other shipping provider currently offers. 

I think many animal health professionals just aren’t aware that this level of technology and service is easily availableWhile I respect the larger shipping companies, such as UPS and FedEx (who are our shipping partners), I must point out that Cryoport provides a level of detail, sanitation, and tracking that they cannot directly provide. 

Cryoport is unique in its ability to bring technology and data to the shipping process. The company supports nearly half a million shipping lanes globally, and it also has the largest fleet of shippers in the industry. Last fall, MVE Biological Solutions was acquired by Cryoport, Inc. (the holding company of Cryoport Systems). This acquisition allows us to pair the most robust fleet of shippers with our unmatched tracking and monitoring system. 

If you are seeking safe transport for fresh, chilled or frozen semen and embryosI encourage you to contact me. You can reach me at 949-681-2746 or


Tony Thomas


Tony Thomas is the Executive Director - Business Development, Animal Health for Cryoport Systems. He grew up on a family farm and followed those interests through his academic career. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the global animal agriculture industry with particular focus on genetics and animal health. Tony and his family live near Nashville, Tennessee.

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