The Secret to Successful Live Lobster Shipping

If you’re in the seafood business, shipping live lobster can be a tricky endeavor. To make sure the lobsters make it to their destination in the best condition possible, three key criteria must be met: temperature, time and handling.


When it comes to live lobster shipping, the temperature is a crucial factor to consider. Lobsters are cold-blooded creatures that require specific temperatures to survive.

Failure to maintain the right temperature can result in poor quality and, in the worst cases, death of the lobsters during shipment.

Impact of temperature on live lobster

The ideal temperature for live lobster shipping is between 32°F and 45°F. At this temperature range, lobsters can survive for up to two days.

High temperatures can be especially problematic for live lobster shipments. When the temperature exceeds 50°F, lobsters become agitated, begin to use up their oxygen supply and become dehydrated. This ultimately leads to a reduction in quality and survival rate.

In contrast, temperatures below the recommended range can also be detrimental. Temperatures below 32°F can cause lobsters to enter a hibernation-like state, and they will be in a weakened state if they do survive.

Insulated containers and gel packs

Insulated containers are lightweight and made of foam or plastic to keep temperature constant, making them ideal for live lobster shipping.

Gel packs are used in live lobster shipping to maintain a specific temperature and are activated by soaking them in water before placing them in insulated containers with the lobsters. They are made from non-toxic polymer gel sealed inside a plastic bag.

Monitoring and maintaining temperature

Lobsters are very sensitive to temperature and maintaining a consistent, optimal temperature during shipping is important to avoid decline in quality or death.

Shipping companies use temperature monitors or data loggers to track the temperature inside containers and make quick adjustments, if necessary, with some devices having alarms for when temperatures go outside of the desired range.

To maintain consistent temperature during transit, additional insulation, proper shipping routes and scheduling shipments during cooler months are important in addition to using temperature monitoring devices.


Packaging materials

To ship live lobsters, it’s important to use packaging that maintains the right temperature, is puncture-proof, has moisture-absorbing pads, tight lids, and cushioning materials. This ensures the lobsters remain healthy and protected during transit.

Temperature and humidity levels

The ideal temperature range for live lobsters is between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Any warmer or cooler and lobsters will be at risk of death.

The humidity levels also need to be maintained between 85% to 95% to keep the lobsters moist.

Minimizing stress during transit

Lobsters should be handled gently and kept in clean water with enough room to move. Too many in one place can make them very stressed and can even kill them.

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Whenever lobsters are traveling outside of water, time is of the essence.

Lobsters can survive outside of water for up to 48 hours with minimal risk of death. Nevertheless, once the 48-hour mark has passed, the likelihood of post-shipment mortality increases significantly.

Efficient logistics and coordination

it is crucial to choose a reliable shipping company that has experience with live seafood transportation, carefully plan the timing of the shipment, receive regular updates during transit, be prepared to receive the lobsters and have a plan in place in case of any issues.

Reliable shipping method

Airline transport is the best way to transport live lobsters, but selecting the right airline and route is important to minimize stress factors during transit.

Minimizing delays and on-time delivery

minimizing delays and ensuring on-time delivery is critical when it comes to shipping live lobsters. By working with experienced carriers, scheduling deliveries strategically, and having contingency plans in place


Gentle handling

It is important to minimize their exposure to unnecessary movements or agitation that can increase their stress levels and lead to injuries.

minimizing the handling of lobsters. If possible, they should be handled only once during packing and unpacking.

Adequate space

It’s crucial to provide them with enough space to ensure their well-being during transit. Overcrowding can cause stress and increase the risk of injury or death.

it’s essential to carefully consider the size and number of lobsters being shipped and select a container that offers ample space.

Ventilation and water quality

Proper ventilation is important to maintain oxygen levels in the container. Live lobsters require a continuous supply of oxygen to survive. Adequate ventilation allows air to circulate and ensures that the lobsters have enough oxygen to breathe.

Live lobsters require clean, cool water to maintain their health and condition. Dirty or warm water can cause stress and can even be fatal to the lobsters.

Here is a good video to show you how lobsters are packed and shipped worldwide

Does FedEx ship lobster?

Yes, FedEx does ship live lobsters. FedEx has a special program for shipping live animals, which includes lobsters.

They offer both air and ground transportation options depending on the location and the size of the shipment.

It’s important to note that some restrictions and regulations apply to shipping live lobsters via FedEx, including special packaging and labeling requirements.

Does UPS ship lobsters?

Yes, UPS is one of the shipping carriers that offer live lobster shipping services. As with other carriers, UPS has specific guidelines and requirements for the safe shipment of live lobsters.

How much does it cost to ship live lobster?

Generally, the cost of shipping live lobsters can range from around $30 for a short-distance ground shipment to over $100 for a longer-distance air shipment.

For FedEx, shipping live lobsters can range from $40 to $100, depending on the destination and weight of the lobsters. It’s important to note that FedEx does not offer live arrival guarantees for marine animals, so there is some risk involved.

UPS, on the other hand, offers live animal shipping services, which include live lobsters. Their rates for live animal shipping start at $129 but can vary depending on the size and destination of the package.

Here is a cool video to show you how to catch lobster

Why is live lobster so expensive?

Live lobster is known for its high price tag, but have you ever wondered why it is so expensive? Here are three reasons:

1. Supply and Demand

One of the primary factors contributing to the high cost of live lobster is its limited supply compared to the high demand.

Lobsters are not easily caught in large quantities, especially prized ones like Maine lobster. Additionally, lobsters are popular in various cuisines worldwide, increasing their demand.

The limited supply and high demand drive up the prices significantly.

2. Handling and Shipping Costs

Shipping live lobsters requires careful handling and specialized packaging to ensure their survival and quality during transit.

These additional costs, such as insulated containers, gel packs, and maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels, contribute to the overall price of live lobsters.

Furthermore, choosing reliable shipping carriers and methods that can ensure on-time delivery without delays adds to the shipping expenses.

3. Labor and Expertise

The process of catching and handling live lobsters involves skilled labor and expertise.

Lobster fishermen spend long hours at sea and use specific techniques to catch lobsters without harming them. Once caught, live lobsters need to be handled with care to minimize stress and injury, requiring trained personnel.

The labor-intensive nature of the lobster industry adds to the overall cost of live lobsters.