On day 30 I posted the cost of getting my African trophies here in From Africa with Love Part II. A blog reader by the name of Thomas Powers of Powers International and Powers Expediters read the post and provided the following information based on the shipment I recently received. Looks like I could have saved enough money to cover a trophy fee on another animal! He might be worth talking to if you are planning a hunt abroad soon.
What we would have done once consignment reached Dulles International airport is clear Customs, USFWS & USDA, then have Fed Ex pickup at the airline Air Freight office and deliver to your home address for about $175.00 (paperwork $70.00 & freight $105.00 based on volumetric weight of 83 lbs.) Somewhat less then the $752.00 it cost you.
This is possible because there are no “raw” trophies (capes/skins etc.) which as you know requires a far different (& more expensive) clearance process. I did not figure the airfreight from JNB (I believe the total for JNB/Dulles would have been somewhat less.)
I believe far more sportsmen will ship skulls/horns as you did and we can do the same as long as each box is less then 165″ (length + circumference) & 150 lbs. Remember airlines and Fed Ex charge by weight not number of pieces.