My Lobster Died in Transit blog image by Get Maine Lobster

My Lobster Died in Transit

As a shipper of Maine lobster, our biggest anxiety comes when we place it in the shipper box in the hand of the delivery driver. While we may have packed it well and Fedex or UPS took care in shipping, there is still a chance that one of these buggers will die in transit. We want every lobster to arrive at your doorstep, ready for a fight.


  1. The weak get thrown to the side: we only ship strong lobsters, ones with real fight in ‘em.
  2. We only ship hard-shell lobsters: “Old Shells” we call them. The harder the shell, the more likely they arrive spry.
  3. We drop their body temp: cooling lobsters prior to shipping helps with stress and brings them to a dormant state.
  4. We pack ‘em tight:  this helps keep movement to a minimum in case they get jostled in transit.
  5. Fresh and lively: our lobsters do not reach a tank. They come straight from the trap to our fulfillment facility, get cooled and then packed.


  1. This is a live animal: shipping a live animal overnight is a delicate process. While rare, casualties will occur. The key is that the lobsters are cool. If the lobsters arrive cool, they are perfectly safe to cook and eat, regardless of whether they are alive or dead.
  2. When lobster is not good: if you see a big crack in the lobster, cook him separately. Sometimes the little buggers will fight along the way, or they got shook in transit, causing damage to your poor creatures. If the meat has been comprised, it will look like cottage cheese. Good meat is nice and firm and a bright white.
  3. The green stuff: this is just their last meal…nothing to worry about! Tomalley is considered a delicacy by some!
  4. The red stuff: Roe, these are their eggs…you lucked out and got a female lobster with eggs. YUMMY!
  5. The black stuff: you have under-cooked a female lobster. Simply wash away and cook for another few minutes.


In my time cooking and eating lobster, I have learned a few things about live lobster and dead lobster. Cooking for the right amount of time has been paramount, REGARDLESS!

Recently, I decided to ship myself (in Chicago) a softer-shelled lobster, knowing that there was a good chance that a couple would pass in transit. I shipped 10, and what do you know, upon arrival, only 3 survived. I was not happy, I was hoping more would make it. I decided to throw two of them away because they had been damaged in transit, cracked. The rest, I steamed on the grill (my own little way).

The end result, the 8 I cooked, 3 being alive and 5 being dead before cooking, came out GREAT. I knew there was nothing to worry about because the box was cool when I opened it, the lobster I cooked were intact, and nothing malodorous came from the box upon opening.

With that, I always expect every lobster to be alive upon arrival. In most cases, that will happen, BUT, I will always keep in mind that if the lobsters were cool upon arrival, well intact, and nothing malodorous was coming from the box, I am good to cook and EAT.

If you happen to receive a lobster from us that has passed in transit, CALL US (866.562.4817) or EMAIL; We can help answer any hesitations you may have.