If you live in Maine, or any other coastal state that offers amazing lobsters, you might want to ship lobsters to share with friends and family. The best, and often easiest option, is to use a company like ShopLobster that has all the supplies, packaging, and shipping capabilities necessary to do so. But, if you’re up for the challenge, here are some tips for shipping lobsters yourself!

Get the lobsters! Maybe you have a lobsterman friend, a favorite seafood spot, or a neighbor. Getting fresh lobsters that were just caught is a great way to help ensure quality. If you’re able, select lobsters with hard shells because they will be more durable during transport and shipping. Make sure lobsters are lively, moving their claws around and flapping their tails, which will indicate that they’re healthy and ready for their trip!

Get the right packaging. Proper packaging is crucial to ensure the safety of your live lobsters during shipping. Most reputable suppliers will use specialized lobster packaging, which typically includes:

  • A sturdy insulated box – this is often made of Styrofoam or other insulating materials.
  • Lobsters must be kept at the right temperature to stay healthy during transit. Gel packs or frozen gel packs are used to maintain the desired temperature inside the shipping box.  (Ice packs are OK but make sure that they aren’t something that will melt and release water, which will suffocate the lobsters.) Do not use dry ice or regular ice! 
  • Adding seaweed is a great and natural way to add a layer of insulation, help maintain moisture, and protect the lobsters from moving around during shipping.
  • Bags or containers for the lobsters
  • Adequate ventilation to provide oxygen to the lobsters

Check with your carrier about shipping. FedEx or UPS will be able to help you schedule the best delivery and shipment methods to guarantee the lobsters arrive in a timely fashion. Choose the fastest delivery method. If available, overnight is definitely best.

Coordinate with the recipient to ensure that your lobsters are delivered on a day when they can receive them. You don’t want the lobsters sitting on a porch in the sun! Share our blog post about storing seafood and live lobsters with your family member or friend so that they know what to do with the lobsters when they arrive. This is going to seem silly, but you should also give the recipient the heads up that lobsters don’t arrive red, and that live lobsters tend to be greenish/black. Most people don’t know that!

Shipping lobsters is a fun way to share Maine lobsters with friends and family, even if they are miles away from the coast. By choosing fresh lobsters, getting the proper packaging, and following our tips, you can share the taste of fresh lobsters with your loved ones wherever they are! 
And remember, if this all sounds like too much work – we’ll do it for you, and guarantee that the lobsters will arrive live! Just visit ShopLobster, click a few times, and we’ll do the rest.