“Frozen” semen is not just frozen in the freezer at 32° F, but frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen, which is -396°F!!! It must be kept at this temperature until it is ready to be thawed and used for insemination. Therefore, when shipping frozen semen, it must be shipped in cryo-shippers, called vapor shippers. These containers keep the semen at -396°F during transportation until the semen is either transferred back into another cryo-tank for storage or thawed down and used for insemination. These tanks are heavy and much more expensive to ship than the lighter Styrofoam boxes used for shipping chilled semen.
Preparing the vapor tank to ship
When we use a vapor shipper, the tank takes several hours to “charge” or fill properly. The liquid nitrogen is poured into the tank and is absorbed into special material lining the tank. The actual liquid is poured out of the tank prior to shipping, leaving only vapor in the tank. Liquid nitrogen itself in the liquid form is a hazardous material and cannot be in the tank during transport.
It is because of this time needed to charge the shipping tank that we need to know at least 7 days in advance of when the semen is to be shipped out! PLAN AHEAD! PLAN AHEAD! PLAN AHEAD!
If you are planning to self-trasport the frozen semen, please fill out the following:
Release of frozen semen for shipment FORM #9
Tank rental agreement for self-transport of frozen semen FORM #7