5 Best Livestock Transport Companies [2022 Review]
Shipping anything large can be a logistical nightmare. Things can be even more challenging when you have to keep the safety of living animals in mind. The company you hire will be responsible for the overall well-being of your livestock, including feeding, exercise, and general health. Here, we’ve outlined the best livestock transport companies available today.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Who the best available livestok shipping services are in the US
- What to expect when hiring a livestock transporter
- How to properly evaluate your options
- What you can expect to pay for this service
The Best Livestock Transporters
- Best for Small Shipments: uShip
- Most International Shipping Options: AsstrA
- Most Personalized Service: Bob May Livestock
- Best Veterinary Care for Handled Animals: World Wide Livestock Express Inc.
Here is a quick look at the best livestock transport companies available today. Each company we’ve listed has years of experience, coupled with leading safety records. Given the wide variance among pricing and other factors, you’ll need to get your own quote for transportation services. Domestic pricing can range from just below $1 to $1.50 and up, per mile, per head, while international costs will likely cost $3,000-plus per head.
|uShip||Free Quote||The Best for Small Shipments||Shipping broker|
|AsstrA||Free Quote||Most International Shipping Options||International livestock carrier|
|Bob May Livestock||Free Quote||Most Personalized Service||Domestic livestock carrier|
|World Wide Livestock Express Inc.||Free Quote||Best Veterinary Care for Handled Animals||International livestock carrier|
uShip is a marketplace that facilitates connections between shipping clients and independent shipping companies. Their affiliates can include independently owned and operated trucks or fully-fledged, large providers. Ultimately, who you book with will depend entirely on your comfort level with a given uShip partner.
Best for Single-Item Shipping
- Provides Shipping Services for Furniture, Cars, Boats, etc.
- Easy Mobile App for Tracking
- Ships for Residential and Commercial Moving
uShip is an ideal choice for all shipping needs, from moving a few boxes to moving an entire building and everything in between. This includes an array of livestock shipping options. Bear in mind that specialty services will vary greatly from carrier to carrier. However, you should be able to find accommodations for the following on uShip:
Domestic rates for uShip partners fluctuate depending on the market and the exact carrier you book with. Shorter trips will see rates between $1 and $1.50 per mile per animal shipped, while longer trips could cost a little under $1 per mile. When you book any relocation with uShip, you’ll have the option to set your own price for different carriers to either accept or decline. If you’re unsure of appropriate pricing, then you can post your job description to the site for carriers to bid on. In either case, you should try to post your job at least a few weeks ahead of time.
uShip’s Service Area
uShip has more than 41,000 partners across the US that cover customer moving and shipping needs to all 50 states and a number of other countries.
Why We Like uShip
uShip is an ideal choice for smaller moving clients or private shippers. Their partners can handle a variety of moves, both big and small, and they provide a platform for you to get quotes and shop around for service easily.
AsstrA is an international shipping giant that handles everything from heavy equipment, automobiles, waste products, livestock, and everything in between. Since their founding in Zurich in 1993, they’ve risen to become a worldwide leader in all things shipping and logistics management. With a full portfolio of air, land, and sea shipping services, they’re a fantastic choice for just about any international shipping need. With this company, you’ll be assured of smooth transit for your animals. AsstrA’s team of customs professionals are there for you each step of the way to ensure that all goes well when your livestock reaches its destination.
AsstrA handles shipments from a minimum weight of 5 kilograms, all the way up to large industrial equipment and structures. They have handled almost every shipping need you could think of, from farm animal relocation to travel for circus animals and more exotic fare. Their live cargo division’s main specialties include the following, with land, sea, and air options available:
- Dairy cows
International shipping is costly, no matter what your cargo may be. Pricing figures are likely to include veterinary services for any animals, as well as stall cleaning, general handling, and feeding fees. You can expect cost figures starting in the $3,000 range per animal, but you should contact them for more exact pricing information. AsstrA provides unique accommodations for each animal based on age and general condition, leading to great pricing variance.
Their Service Area
AsstrA services shipping needs to and from the US and North America, to most of the EU and Asia. They’re a global shipping provider that can service almost any shipping need across three continents.
Why We Like AsstrA
AsstrA’s global presence and gigantic shipping network puts them in a prime position to handle any and all shipping needs – not just livestock and other live cargo. Simply put, if you have an item above 5 kilograms that needs to be shipped to another country, they can probably help.
Bob May Livestock
Bob May Livestock is a family-owned enterprise out of Northern California, specializing mainly in breeding and distributing show animals. Having been in operation since 1987, this mom-and-pop business has developed relationships with a number of top farmers and breeders from the Midwest to the West Coast to provide clients with the best service. Whether you’re purchasing livestock for farming or show purposes or need to hire a carrier for a large shipment to another farm, Bob May is one of the best livestock transport companies in the US today.
Bob May conducts bi-monthly trips from Northern California to Indianapolis and back. On the way, he covers the I-80 and I-40 corridors, making stops at numerous farms for varying purposes. His trained eye and attention to detail ensure that the livestock you receive are always cared for and are of the highest quality. Along with the transportation of cattle, dairy cows, pigs, sheep, and far more, they provide the following services in transit:
- Antibiotics for all animals at departure and arrival
- Quality feed and water throughout shipment
Bob May Livestock Cost
You should contact this premium shipper for any inquiries and pricing quotes. By all accounts, he’s an easy shipping provider to deal with and has a 30-plus year track record of excellence in the field.
May’s Service Area
This shipper mainly serves customers along I-80 and I-40 throughout the Western US. This includes California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. Delivery and shipping off this immediate route are available if you contact him for a custom quote.
Why We Like Bob May Livestock
Bob May receives high marks for customer service and communication. His hands-on approach and decades of direct experience ensure a quality experience for customers, as well as the safety of all animals handled.
World Wide Livestock Express Inc.
World Wide Livestock Express has been in business since 2000 and is one of the leading operators within the US for international livestock shipping needs. They provide ground, air, and sea shipping services for all species of livestock, with regular inspections conducted on each mode of transportation to meet USDA standards. They are also one of the best at providing top veterinary care for all animals before and after shipping via their state-of-the-art quarantine and health facility.
World Wide Livestock Express specializes strictly in international freight services for the transportation of all breeds of livestock. This includes the following:
- Ocean freight with USDA-approved containers
- Safe air travel in secure stalls
- Inland transportation to port in inspected trailers
For all shipments, your animals will be provided with quality food, water, and veterinary care if need be. World Wide prides themselves on providing efficient and quality care for all animals they’re entrusted with, which makes for successful relocations.
World Wide’s Cost
Depending on distance traveled and number of animals to be shipped, your costs will vary. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay $3,000 and up per head. Get a quote from World Wide to determine your exact price.
Their Service Area
World Wide’s main departure ports are Houston, Texas, and Miami, Florida. From those main hubs, they’re able to ship livestock throughout the Caribbean and to Central and South America.
Why We Like World Wide Livestock Express Inc.
World Wide Livestock Express Inc. provides the best in-house veterinary care for their animals by a wide margin. Their USDA-accredited facilities provide for quarantine and care of all incoming and outgoing shipments, along with feed and water accommodations within.
Get a Quote
Your first step in planning a livestock shipment of any kind should be getting quotes from multiple providers in your area. There are a great number of factors to consider, including current shipping rates for sea and air travel, ease of access to your property or the final destination, and accommodations for your livestock while in transit. These should all be addressed during a personalized estimate for your services.
Here are a few factors you should check when evaluating any animal shipper. Doing so will help you avoid potential scams and ensure that your animals and your money are safe when you book:
- USDA Accreditation: This is a must for any reputable animal shipping company. The USDA mandates certain standards for animal shipping professionals, which must be upheld for the safety of your livestock.
- Customer Reviews: This is the single best resource for determining a given company’s reliability. If you’re unsure of a specific provider’s ability, then doing a deep dive into their customer service footprint will paint a clear picture of a given shipper’s safety record.
- USDOT Number: This is mainly for US-based companies. However, fly-by-night companies with no USDOT number do exist. If you decide to book with a local provider, you’ll want to ask for proof of federal registration in this form.
Questions to Ask
The following are a few qualifying questions that everyone should ask before entrusting any company with the shipment of their livestock. Reputable operators should have in-depth answers readily available.
How will my animals be cared for in transit?
This simple question should yield a ready-made answer from any professional. Different kinds of livestock will require different accommodations for trips of different lengths. The best transporters are able to provide custom care for each animal they handle.
How do you address emergency veterinary needs?
Reputable carriers will have a means for providing emergency medical care if need be. You should ask about how such situations are dealt with before booking.
What kinds of stalls do you use?
You will likely get a different answer to this question for each different breed of animal you ship. Horses, cattle, sheep, and other animals will all require unique accommodations to ensure their safety.
How direct is your shipping route?
Most animal shippers will consolidate shipments from different customers, so this is more logistical clarification than anything else. For the sake of planning, you should ask this to get a handle on your potential delivery date.
At Pro Mover Reviews, we are committed to providing our readers with comprehensive and unbiased information on each provider that we review. Our methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures we maintain your trust through transparency and data that is backed up through routine check-ins. Our staff has spent hundreds of hours reviewing dozens of local, long-distance, and international moving companies to bring you our recommendation for the best moving companies in the US. We then narrowed down our findings based on criteria that we find to be the most helpful for you to choose the best moving company for your needs.
Our Rating Categories:
- Company Transparency
- Pricing + Cost
- Services Offered
- Overall Reputation
While there are many sites out there that compare movers, we believe our rigorous standards give us more insights into company performance and better data to share with our community. For each moving company we check for:
- Confirmed Licensing with the DOT
- Updated & Verified Business Registration
- Real & Recent Consumer Reviews
- Industry Ratings and BBB Complaints
- Accuracy of Online Quotes
- Services Provided & Total Service Area
- Pricing & Services vs. Competitors
From here we created a comprehensive, 100 point, rating scale based on the following factors:
- Moving services (25): Companies that offer more flexibility in their services are rated higher.
- Coverage of services (5): The more items a moving company can handle, the higher the score.
- Pricing (25): We compare this to the industry average when rating pricing.
- Trustworthiness (25): We comb through hundreds of reviews and check on BBB ratings to determine the trustworthiness of a company.
- State availability (5): Finding a moving company in your state can be a challenge depending on where you are located. The more states covered, the higher the score.
- Customer service (10): Is this moving company responsive? Do they respond quickly to issues that are brought to their attention? Are they helpful in answering questions? All of these factors are considered when rating customer service.
- Additional benefits (5): Moving companies can sometimes offer special promotions or deals when contracting them for a move. The companies with the most benefit scored higher.
Of the dozens of different moving companies that we’ve reviewed, we’ve broken down the best interstate and long-distance movers in Indiana. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability. This list is ever-changing, as companies will update policies and procedures, and we will change our information accordingly.
FAQs for the Best Livestock Transport Companies
Will my livestock transport company provide for customs clearance?
If your provider is primarily an international shipper, then the answer to this question should always be “yes.” You may be required to pay a little extra for the convenience, but this should be offered as an add-on at the very least.
Will my livestock shipper provide a guaranteed delivery date?
Often, you will be given a fairly wide date range. This is especially true for longer shipments. In many cases, you’ll be able to contact your livestock transport company as your shipment progresses to narrow down your delivery date further.
How long are livestock allowed to be kept on a truck?
USDA regulations state that livestock can only be continuously kept on a truck for 28 hours. After this point, they must be let out for food, water, and exercise for at least a five-hour period.