Shipping Semen

How does the shipping work?

When you order from HGL we will provide an invoice and receipt similar to the ones you have seen in the past. The straws are picked, packaged and shipped to the preferred destination you choose.

The straws are shipped in liquid nitrogen to keep them cold during shipping. The shipping vessel is a small dewar tank, commonly referred to a as shipper designed for transport. All the shipping is setup for ground transport, if you want to expedite the shipping please contact us (link) directly. Our standard shipping is ground service.

During packaging we will also provide a return shipping label or instructions on pick up by the carrier at the delivery point.

We have a limited supply of shippers so sometimes it may take up to 2-3 weeks for the shipment to be processed especially during the busy season (March – July). Therefore, it is best to plan ahead for your upcoming breeding season. If it will take longer than two weeks, we will reach out to you to ensure that we should still ship.

What is included in the cost of shipping?

Shipping Semen and embryos is different than most e-commerce shipping you may be used to. There are many extra steps involved in shipping and handling. Here are the extra processes in the background for the added handling fees:


In a normal web purchase you order the item a warehouse worker typically selects the item(s) usually stored on shelving, packages the items and put a shipping label on it.

  • With semen and embryo shipping the selection requires a trained technician to go into the storage tanks, and select the canes with the straws you ordered.
    • Then build out a cane for each straw, and label each cane appropriately.
    • Fill the shipper with liquid nitrogen. The nitrogen is typically used up during the time of shipping, therefore we are required to fill the shipper with each use.


Another added cost in shipping is getting the shipper back. Once you transfer the straws out of the shipper, we need it back so we can ship to another customer. This shipping return fee is built into the shipment fees as well.


Handling the dewar tank (shipper)

We recommend having the straws shipped to your Artificial Insemination Technician for storage. However, if you have your own tank, or are storing at another farm for a short period, here are a few suggestions in handling:

  • When the tank arrives, you should place it in an area that does not receive direct sunlight or next to heat register. This will cause the tank to heat up and could use up the liquid nitrogen sooner. Keeping the tank in a cool (not the freezer) place is best. We suggest keeping it in a location where it could not get bummed over or knocked down. So, a low traffic area where no animals or pets have access too.
  • You will want to transfer the straws to a more permanent tank as soon as possible as the nitrogen in a shipper will only last a few days. Remember you are handling liquid nitrogen. It is very cold and could cause damage to you or others, if not handled correctly. We recommend you follow all the tank manufactures guidelines for handling and wear all the required personal protective equipment needed. If you have never done this before, it is best to have someone with experience help during this process. You want to have the straws out of the liquid for as short of a period of time as possible. This will help maintain the integrity of the straw.
  • The tank will come zip tied to prevent the shipper from accidently opening during transport. When you return the tank we will provide you a zip tie to close it up. There may be some residual nitrogen left and we do not want that to tip over in the transport.

Liquid Nitrogen

Highland Genetics is not responsible for any mishandling of liquid nitrogen, and is not liable for any injury or damage done to any person(s) or property. This information listed above does not take the place of any manual for handling the liquid nitrogen nor is meant to be interpreted as the standard operating procedure. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to your AI technician, tank manufacture, or local veterinarian for further details.


Highland Genetics wants to serve all its customers. Like all companies that sell semen and embryos, we have a limited number of shippers. Please be courteous to your fellow Highland Enthusiasts and return your shipper within 24 hours of receiving it. Most shippers are set to be picked up the next day by the carrier. Please have your shipper ready in the same place it was dropped off.

  • Attach the new zip ties to the tank to keep the lid secured
  • Place in the same location as drop off
  • If there are any return labels, attach them to the tank. If it does not have return labels, the carrier will provide those upon pick up.
  • If you have any questions, please contact us.