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Shipping Live Lobster: Everything You Need to Know

Over the past 25 years of shipping live lobster and seafood to your homes, it has become clear to us that a great live seafood delivery experience is all about providing the highest quality product at a reasonable price, packed and shipped with care, and delivered as fresh as possible.

We work closely with our fishing partners to provide you with the highest quality live lobster. Because we are a wholesale distributor, we are able to offer our customers the lowest possible price for fresh North Atlantic lobsters and seafood. Our team takes pride in packing your order with the utmost of care to ensure the best seafood delivery experience in the industry. We also work closely with our shipping partner, UPS, to make sure your order arrives fresh and on-time.

The overnight shipping process for perishable items can be complicated. We have compiled a list of our most frequently asked customer questions here:

How are your shipping costs factored?

Since live seafood must be shipped overnight to ensure freshness, and the costs of overnight service can be high, the seafood industry charges for their shipping costs in a number of different ways:

  • Free — the company includes their shipping costs in the price of the product so it is hidden from the customer
  • Free after a certain dollar amount spent (i.e. free shipping after a $125 minimum order) — the company still includes their shipping costs in the price of the product, but pushes more of that cost to customers with smaller orders
  • Flat rate — the company charges the same rate to all of their customers based on the average cost of what their shipping partners charge across all of their customer’s orders
  • Charge by the location and weight of the box — the company charges what the shipping partners charge and passes those costs directly to the customer

At Lobsters-Online, we value transparency for our customers above all else, and so we charge by the location/weight of the box. We have made a conscious decision to give you the best product price we can and only pass along the cost of what our shipping partners charge us.

Lobsters-Online tank room staff packing and shipping live lobster during a busy day in July.

How does the shipping process work at Lobsters-Online?

When you place an order, our team on the tank room floor in our Bourne, MA facility determines the proper shipping time to ensure freshness, picks your live lobsters and seafood items and packs them into a sturdy cardboard box, add frozen gel-packs and damp packing paper to ensure proper temperature during transit.

Due to the perishable nature of our live lobsters and seafood, all retail orders placed online are shipped via overnight to your home or place of business. Orders must be placed by 2:30 PM EST for next day delivery via overnight delivery.

What days can my live lobster and seafood order be delivered?

We deliver next day on Tuesday through Saturday, excluding major holidays.

There is an $8 surcharge for Saturday delivery. Saturday deliveries are not available in all areas across the United States. We will call you if there is a problem with Saturday delivery in your area or if your package requires additional shipping costs due to the location.

We are only able to offer estimated delivery times as a convenience to our customers. These standard service times are not guaranteed and are provided as the average delivery time to a specific area. We ship our packages with priority service when it is available, and we are always available to provide additional shipper information that may be useful. End-of-day delivery services end at approximately 9:00 PM.

What date should I select for my order's arrival?

For live lobster orders, we recommend selecting either the day prior or the day when you plan to cook them. Please keep in mind that the delivery window extends until 9PM local time, so your order may arrive after your scheduled dinner time.

Any frozen items will need to thaw 16-24 hours under refrigeration prior to use. For those reasons, we recommend an arrival date of 2-3 days prior to when you plan to use our frozen items.

Lobsters are sorted by weight and then weighed again prior to being packed for shipping.

Do I need to be home to receive my order?

We recommend someone be home to receive the package as the products are perishable. Lobsters-Online has waived the required signature feature on all orders and is not held responsible for damages if someone is not home and the package is left unattended.

When you order live lobsters as a gift, you should alert the recipient that a perishable package is on the way so they can plan accordingly.

All damage claims must be made on day of delivery by calling 888-353-9898. Please note: claims will not be honored if not made on the day of delivery.

What happens if there is a weather delay with my order?

Lobsters-Online is not responsible for packages that are delayed due to inclement weather; however, we do our best to track potential weather systems that could affect your order. Lobsters-Online reserves the right to hold or release orders based upon the probability of your order arriving on-time and fresh. Typically, our team will add notifications to the website alerting customers of potential weather delays to help you avoid any issues with your order.

Why do you offer Travel Coverage ($18 flat fee)?

It is important to us that your whole experience, from placing the order, to delivery is a simple and straightforward process. That said, we offer a "travel coverage" option that protects you from any delivery delays. This coverage includes protection from, missorted packages, flight delays, mechanical malfunctions, damaged packages and weather delays which would have prevented your package from arriving on the selected delivery date. This coverage is intended to give you peace of mind that your shipment is protected from events outside the Lobsters-Online’s control. Should any of the listed events occur, the customer would be entitled to a refund. Reshipment of product is not guaranteed. If the package does not arrive on the scheduled delivery date, it is the customer's responsibility to share images of the product received and to contact us. Lobsters-Online will review and investigate the package details to purpose a satisfying resolution.

An exterior shot of our facility in Bourne, MA

What happens when I use the wrong address?

Customers are held responsible to input their correct SHIPPING ADDRESS. This includes Name, Street, City, State and Zip Code+4. Once the shipment has been picked up by UPS, we are not able to change the shipping address. Please verify all addresses are correct when purchasing the order. We do not refund or reimburse those orders that were not delivered on time due to an incorrect address.

Lobsters-Online is not responsible for any stolen packages that have been delivered with Proof of Delivery options, or packages that may not be noticed by a recipient the same day the package was delivered.

What happens when my order is missing products?

Since our customers pay before receiving the product, one of the biggest priorities is instilling freshness and accuracy. That said, should you receive an order that is missing products you will need to contact us on the delivery date. A missing product request email must be sent to in order to obtain a refund. Please include an order number, name, and product details. Once received, Lobsters-Online will conduct an internal investigation with our packing team before determining the refund amount. Should you share this mispacked order after the date of the delivery date, Lobsters-Online reserves the right to refuse a reshipment or refund.

How do I receive a refund?

To receive a refund, your order number and a detailed explanation of what you received is required. Orders will only be considered for refunds if you contact us on the day of delivery. If you have already cooked and eaten your lobster or lobster product, you are not eligible for a credit. A reshipment is not guaranteed as this up to Lobsters-Online’s discretion.

Customers who are qualified to receive credit can expect their refund within 15 days past order error outreach. The credit will be issued to the person listed in the billing section on the order. Full refunds can be issued prior to the ship date.