Museum ducks butterfly freight cost rise

The Otago Museum butterfly house. Photo: ODT files
The Otago Museum butterfly house. Photo: ODT files
Flight, fright and freight.

Otago Museum Tropical Forest organisers could have been forgiven for getting those three words blurred together, after a recent fright over a massive rise in freight charges for their supplies of brightly-coloured butterflies from the Philippines.

Museum director Ian Griffin said the museum had recently faced an "unexpected operational challenge" from an overnight 10-fold increase in the prices offered by the Filipino branch of freight company TNT.

"This forced us to seek alternate freight companies to deliver the butterfly pupae we receive from the Philippines each week," Dr Griffin said in a recent museum report.

Fortunately, competitive transport alternatives were available and alternative arrangements could be made.

The "silver lining to this unwelcome news" was that the museum was now receiving its tropical butterfly pupae shipments from its two supply countries, Costa Rica and the Philippines, from the freight company UPS, at no extra cost and "on a more reliable basis", Dr Griffin said.

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