Lobster shipping is becoming increasingly common. As more businesses pivot to online and shipped sales, the process of shipping lobster is becoming more streamlined. If you ordered lobster shipped to your door several years ago, the process might not look the same now.
That said, some companies really stand out as providers who have put effort into streamlining lobster shipping and handling. Here are a few we’ve isolated for their simple but effective shipping procedures.
Those looking for different sizes should check out our lobster directory. If you’re new to lobster shipping, or if you’re a lobster fisher looking to get into the shipping game, this guide will walk you through some of the practices the best companies use.
Selecting Crustaceans for Lobster Shipping
Not all lobsters are fit to ship, which means the selection process is extremely important. Shipping can put a lot of stress and strain on a lobster, so only the liveliest and healthiest crustaceans should make the cut. When a customer places their order, an employee will find a lobster of the selected size and quickly assess its health. If it’s moving around a lot, it’ll be a great candidate for lobster shipping.
Lobster Shipping Packaging Requirements
There are no state-mandated guidelines around how lobster are shipped, but most companies use the same techniques to preserve the animals while in transit. The live lobsters are packaged into Styrofoam boxes alongside cooling agents, like ice and gel packs. Keeping the shipping container cold is essential, as a warm box could kill the crustaceans.
In some cases, the provider might throw in some seaweed for added comfort. Before going into the box, the lobsters are rubber banded so that they cannot damage themselves, each other, or the shipping container. In some cases, lobsters are separated by cardboard dividers and inserted with their tails facing down to limit interaction and mobility.
Shipping Lobster Across the Country
The actual shipping part of the process is what separates companies from each other. Some providers have dedicated relationships with shipping partners. In these cases, the lobsters are picked up by the shipping arm and transported to their destinations. Some smaller companies need to ship packages individually, dropping them at a local FedEx or UPS location. In all cases, though, lobsters will travel by air or ground to their final destination.
When the lobster arrives in the destination city or town, it is then transferred to a delivery person to complete the final shipping mile. From there, the box will be left on your doorstep – or in a garage, per any instructions you leave for the delivery person.
How to Receive Your Lobster Order
Once the box arrives at your door, it is important to keep the lobsters as chilled as possible. If you have freezer or refrigerator space, move them there, but in most cases, keeping lobsters inside their shipping container is the easiest solution. When you’re ready to cook, remove the lobsters from the box one at a time, grabbing them by the body when possible.