Transport and Shipping
Here at Southern Biological, we ship both perishable and non-perishable items, which can create complicated dispatch scenarios. In order to simplify this situation, we group our orders into two categories: those that contain perishable items and those that do not. We prioritise orders with perishable items and will dispatch them on Monday to Wednesday of a typical week. We need approximately one day’s notice to send out a perishable order. Non-perishable orders are sent on a first-come first-serve basis, will be sent Monday to Thursday of a typical week and generally only take a few days for us to dispatch.
See the items below for more detail on our shipping policies and guidelines.
Orders are classified as perishable if they contain one or more perishable items. The items that we classify as perishable are as follows: living cultures (excluding bacterial cultures), frozen items and refrigerated items. If you are unsure as to whether an item is perishable, feel free to contact us and we can discuss delivery options.
We dispatch orders that contain perishable items on Monday to Wednesday of a typical week, but do not dispatch on Thursday or Friday to ensure that the items are not in transit over the weekend. In order to dispatch an order on a given day, we require the order to be placed by 4:00 pm on the previous business day. For example, an order placed before 4:00 pm on a Monday will be shipped on Tuesday. However, an order placed on a Wednesday will not be shipped until the following Monday. If your order does not have a specified delivery date, we will dispatch it on the next available day. You are, however, welcome to specify a future delivery date on your order, and we will dispatch your items on the appropriate day.
Perishable orders will typically be dispatched in courier bags which take one day to be delivered to many locations in Australia. Please ring us if you would like to confirm delivery times to your location.
If your order also contains non-perishable goods that are either too large for a courier bag or not allowed to travel by air (e.g. flammable substances), then they will dispatched on the same day via road freight. For many areas of Australia, this will mean that the perishable and non-perishable components of the order will be delivered on separate days.
Goods sent in courier bags cannot be left without a recipient, so please ensure that the address you provide is staffed to receive deliveries. For orders that contain perishable items, ensure that the parcel is immediately unpacked and the items are stored appropriately.
We dispatch orders that contain only non-perishable items on Monday to Thursday of a typical week, but not on Friday. These orders are processed on a first-come first-serve basis, and while we can typically dispatch them within a few days of receiving the order, it might take longer depending on our current volume of orders. If you have a specific requirement date for your order, please let us know and we will do our best to have it delivered to you on time.
Non-perishable orders will typically either be sent in a courier bag (as explained under perishable orders) or via courier road freight, whichever costs less. Large or heavy orders will need to travel by road freight, as will orders containing goods not allowed to travel by air (e.g. flammable substances). For some areas of Australia, road freight may take a number of days, so please plan your orders in advance if possible. If your non-perishable order is urgent, let us know and we will choose the fastest available freight option for you.
The freight cost for courier road freight is calculated based on volume, mass and destination. If you require an exact freight cost before you place an order, feel free to contact us and we can prepare a quote for you.
Goods sent via courier road freight cannot be left without a recipient, so please ensure that the address you provide is staffed to receive deliveries.
Collections and Same Day Deliveries
If you live in the Melbourne area, you can collect orders directly from us or we can ship via a same day delivery service. Both of these options can be used on any business day, including Fridays, and they can be used for both perishable and non-perishable orders.
If you would like to collect, please let us know when you place the order. Collections will be ready any time after 10:00 am on the specified collection day. We must have your order by 4:00 pm in order to have the collection ready for the following business day. You are, however, welcome to specify a future collection date on your order, and we will prepare your items for the collection on the appropriate day. When collecting the order, simply enter our reception area and one of our staff members will be happy to assist you.
Same day deliveries are available for most areas in metropolitan Melbourne. The cost of these deliveries depends on your location and generally correlates with your distance from our warehouse in Knoxfield. Feel free to ring us if you would like an exact quote for the cost of this service. Orders sent by this method will be delivered by 2:00 pm on the nominated day, and as with collections, we require your order to be placed by 4:00 pm on the previous business day. As with other courier services, goods cannot be left without a recipient, so please ensure that the address you provide is staffed to receive deliveries.
Depending on the items involved, it may be possible for us to send non-perishable orders via Registered Post. This method is necessary when sending to a PO box, and it is our preferred option when sending to residential addresses and other locations that are not staffed during business hours. The cost of this service depends on the size and weight of the item, and it is available on any business day.
Orders that contain living cultures are treated as perishable orders, with the exception of bacterial cultures which we classify as non-perishable. The following few extra considerations also apply to living, non-bacterial cultures. After your culture arrives, loosen the lid to ensure that the organisms have access to fresh air. Photosynthetic organisms should be placed in indirect sunlight and non-photosynthetic organisms in a dark area, such as a cupboard.
Living cultures will have a limited lifespan after being removed from their natural environment, so if possible, we recommend having them delivered on the day before they are to be used. Care instructions for each of our living cultures are available on our website.
Frozen items can be sent via a courier bag, but only for overnight delivery areas. While overnight delivery is possible for most of our customers, frozen specimens may not be an option if you live in a remote area. If you are unsure, please give us a ring to discuss delivery times, and we can also discuss preserved alternatives in cases where we cannot send frozen items.
Frozen items sent via overnight shipment will usually arrive thawed; this is normal. You may use them immediately or refreeze them for future use. Refreezing will not damage the quality of the specimens.
While most of our customers are schools, universities and other institutions, we are happy to sell our products to individuals as well. Since couriers are not able to deliver to locations without staff to receive deliveries, we will typically use Australia Post to make deliveries to residential addresses. We are not able to use Australia Post for some items in our stock range, and in those cases we will request a staffed business address for a courier delivery. If you would like to discuss freight options and pricing for an individual sale, please feel free to give us a ring.
Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, we are not able to sell microbiological supplies to individuals. If you are a student looking to conduct microbiological experiments and are in need of supplies, we request that you have your school or university order this equipment for you on your behalf.
Freight companies may impose a surcharge on deliveries to remote locations. If you have a special arrangement with a freight company that services your remote location, please let us know and we can deliver to their depot for trans-shipment or arrange for them to collect from our premises.
Delivery by Australia Post is another possibility for parcels that are eligible for the Educational Remote Area Parcel Service.
Orders can be shipped internationally either directly or via a freight forwarder in Australia. If you are interested, please contact us for a freight quote, and we will determine the most economical shipping method available. Please note that certain items are subject to quarantine and customs restrictions in some countries. Check with the authorities in your location to ensure that the goods may be imported, and if so, whether any special permits are required.