Shipping fancy and feeder goldfish to Ozark Fisheries’s customers have evolved considerably over time. In the early days most of our shipments were shipped in large heavy metal cans and were delivered by Railway Express. Freight costs were low and service to major cities by railway was very dependable. They were shipped in metal cans like they ones below.
Amazingly these cans simply said “Return to Ozark Fisheries” or if they were from our Indiana farm “Return to Grassyfork Fisheries” and in Ozark Fisheries early days we hardly ever had a problem getting the cans returned.
Through the mid 1940’s shipping losses averaged under 2% but by the late 1940’s shipping these heavy metal cans became more difficult. Increased wage demands, shorter hours, and a decline in passenger rail traffic, forced freight costs to go up and the service provided by the railways began to deteriorate. Ozark Fisheries began having significant shipping losses because of inattention to the perishable product and many firms quit handling goldfish. This caused several smaller hatcheries to go out of business. To survive, Ozark Fisheries had to consider alternative shipping methods.
Ozark Fisheries developed and patented the Golfipak which is now in general use in both the goldfish and tropical fish industry today. The Golfipak used a corrugated cardboard box instead of the old heavy metal cans. Goldfish were placed in a preset amount of water in an oxygen-inflated plastic bag that is sealed and shipped inside the cardboard box. For two years the U.S. Postal Service cooperated with Ozark Fisheries in mailing test shipments to all parts of the U.S. to determine if it was safe enough to handle the Golfipaks with other mail without causing damage from boxes that may leak. After exhaustive tests were completed, it was found that not one box was damaged, so the packaging process was given approval for mailing. More than five years was required to develop and test before discarding the old, heavy metal cans, and start full time use of the new Golfipak in 1955.
Prior to the development of the Golfipak container it was impossible for Ozark Fisheries to ship koi and goldfish by airfreight in the old style shipping cans. With the development of the much lighter and less expensive shipping container, shipping by airfreight became possible. This opened up numerous markets that previously were not economically feasible to serve by Ozark Fisheries. This included both domestic and overseas markets.
We still have several of the galvanized metal railway shipping cans used by our Indiana farm, Grassyfork Fisheries until the mid 1950’s. And we do sell them! If you are interested check out our website HERE or email us at email@example.com.