Shipping seafood

Known shipper

The U.S. Government has established security measures which prohibit air carriers from accepting cargo on passenger aircraft that does not originate from shippers who meet TSA requirements. Only known shippers will be allowed to tender cargo.

Advance booking required

Submit your online booking request "This indicates a link to an external site that may not meet accessibility guidelines." or call 1-800-225-2752 . Bookings can be made 12-48 hours prior to departure. Cancellations must be made 8 hours prior to departure. All seafood must be tendered as Specific Commodity Rate (SCR) 0300.

Shipper's responsibility

It is the shipper's responsibility to package all perishable shipments. To maximize freshness and quality, the product must be able to withstand a minimum of 48 hours in transit until pickup, without refrigeration. The following acceptance standards comply with general regulations of all major carriers.


  • Freeze or chill seafood thoroughly before packaging for best final destination temperature.
  • Select durable, watertight packaging, preferably with insulation. Sturdy metal or hard plastic camping coolers or commercially manufactured seafood shipping boxes are preferred.
Seafood Boxes
  • Standard seafood shipping boxes provide easy handling, better stacking capability and allow for maximum cubic space capacity.
  • If multi-walled, full waxed corrugated (e.g. wet-lock) boxes are used, the contents must be sealed in on 4-mil polyethylene liner (or two 2-mil liners) to prevent leakage.
  • Styrofoam liners maybe used inside polyethylene liners for additional insulation and protection from punctures caused by bones or fins.
  • Previously used containers are not acceptable.
  • Containers must be sealed or secured with strapping tape, or a similar material.
  • Styrofoam coolers or boxes are not accepted by Alaska Airlines.
  • Air freight containers (EO, EH or E) are not accepted for shipping seafood.
  • Gel ice packs are recommended to hold perishables at proper temperatures.
  • Wet ice is not allowed.
  • Dry ice is excellent for freezing perishables. Each container must be clearly marked with the words "DRY ICE" and the quantity of dry ice. More than 5.5 pounds requires the processing of dangerous goods documentation.
  • High standards of packaging on all seafood shipments must be maintained.
  • Leakage must be prevented at all times.

Seafood shipments must be packed to withstand:

  • Stacking up to six feet high.
  • Pressure from adjacent cargo.
  • Crushing action of tie-down straps.
  • Manual handling.
  • Exposure to the elements between the aircraft and cargo terminal facilities.


  • Plastic tubs or totes with leak-proof lids can be used for shipping some seafood products (e.g. live crab).
  • Containers with drain plugs shall not be accepted.
  • Empty totes tendered for shipment must be cleaned prior to acceptance.
  • Piece count on the empty tote air waybill should indicate two pieces (container plus lid) for each tote.
  • Maximum tote weight is 300 lbs. on non-containerized flights.

Labeling / Marking

All containers of seafood and wildlife (including shellfish) being shipped interstate must be marked according to the 1988 Lacey Act. A Fish/Wildlife Sticker may be used by the shipper to provide required information. The following six items to be prominently displayed on each shipment:

  • Name and address of shipper and consignee, or passenger.
  • 24-hour phone number of the consignee or passenger.
  • Commodity note as Fish or Wildlife.
  • Specifies species name: such as King Salmon, Moose, Caribou, Silver Salmon.
  • Number of each species or the weight of each type species.
  • Each container must be marked Live, Fresh or Frozen.

Weight limitations

  • All seafood limited to a maximum of 100 lbs.

Exception: Honolulu, Los Angeles, Maui, and San Francisco may accept fish boxes up to 150lbs. with a maximum of 20 boxes weighing between 100lbs. and 150lbs. per flight.

  • In ULDs on palletized aircraft, King Salmon, Halibut, Tuna and other large-bodied seafood shall be allowed in boxes up to 150 lbs. These can only be routed between the state of Alaska and Seattle.
  • Smaller plastic totes used for shipping live crab may travel in the lower cargo compartment on scheduled flights.

Carrier acceptance

  • Compliance with the Lacey Act and its packaging requirements are mandatory.
  • Containers must be free of leaks and odors.
  • Alaska Airlines requires a signed limited release acceptance form to acknowledge the nature of the shipment and notice of airline liability.
  • Random "tip tests" shall be conducted, with the option of refusing an entire shipment should there be an excessive number of cartons leaking.
  • Indelible inks and waterproof labels must be used.
  • Sequential numbering of multiple packages recommended (1 of 4, 2 of 4, 3 of 4, etc.).

Carrier procedures and facilities

We have coolers and freezers at some of our facilities. Every effort will be made to accommodate perishable shipments in coolers while waiting recovery. However, due to high shipping volumes, limitations of facilities and other variables, we cannot guarantee that your shipment will be refrigerated. Perishables should be picked up as quickly as possible upon arrival at destination. Any problem or concern must be reported immediately to a representative of the airline.

Carrier liability

Baggage - Alaska Airlines does not assume financial liability for spoilage, thawing or freezing of perishables shipped as baggage in accordance with published tariff regulations. Live and Fresh Fish and Seafood is acceptable as checked baggage provided all packaging and labeling requirements are met by the customer. Customers also have the option of prebooking as AVIH; however, they would be assessed the higher fare and the shipment would have limited liability due to the perishable nature of the goods.

Cargo - We do not assume financial liability for spoilage, thawing, or freezing to delay en route, unless there is clear evidence of mishandling or negligence.

Cargo Insurance - All-Risk cargo insurance is available for cargo shipments. All-Risk insurance does not cover thawing, freezing, or spoilage resulting from delay in transit.

Payments for seafood shipments

We do not accept COD (Cash on Delivery) payments. Noncommercial perishable goods must be prepaid.

Distribution service

We cannot provide distribution service for your seafood shipments. We do not have the refrigerated holding capacity to break bulk shipments to individual consignees. One shipment per air waybill. Each shipment needs to be signed-off complete and recovered by the consignee at the time of pickup. We cannot release partial lots of a shipment to the consignee.

Shipping live shellfish

Because of the delicate nature of live shellfish such as crab, shipments must be packed carefully in approved containers and clearly marked with "This Side Up" labels. We will only accept live shellfish for carriage at shipper's risk, declared value or insurance will cover actual lost pieces only.

We require the following additional safeguards when shipping live crab:

  • For shipments transiting Seattle, insulated totes or insulated wetlock cartons must be used.
  • Use direct flights where possible.

Salmon roe

Shipments of salmon roe in plastic buckets are acceptable providing exterior of buckets are clean. Lids must be taped shut and secured.

On-line advanced arrangements

Each originating station controls the cargo lift from that station. When you are planning to ship, call the originating station (no earlier than 7 days in advance) and request lift by date, destination and flight number.


Our freighter and combi aircraft are available for both passenger and seafood cargo charters.