Delivery Conditions

Everything you need to know about our shipping conditions and returning or recycling our packaging . . .

New England Biolabs ships its products in packaging appropriate for the required shipping temperature of each product. Products requiring cold shipment are delivered on  wet ice in either insulated cardboard boxes (Eco-Boxes) or plastic foam (polystyrene) containers. Wet ice packs are kept at -20°C for at least 72 hours prior to shipment to ensure they are fully frozen.  Tests have shown that products shipped on wet ice (either in polystyrene or insulated cardboard boxes) will stay at or below 4°C, for more than 36 hours for our overnight shipment boxes, and for more than 96 hours for our over-weekend shipment boxes . Testing at NEB has shown that there is no difference in activity and stability between enzymes that are shipped with wet ice packs and enzymes shipped on dry ice.

Ambient Temperature Shipping

We have been shipping a selection of our molecular biology products without ice for several years now and they have all undergone quality control testing after storage at room temperature.

Products shipped in this way include thermostable polymerases, DNA Ladders, Monarch Nucleic Acid Purification Kits and Protein Standards.

A full list of molecular biology products that can ship at ambient temperature can be found here.

If you place an order for multiple items, some of which require shipping on ice, your whole order will be shipped on ice unless some of the products absolutely require ambient shipping conditions.

Ambient Temperature Envelopes

Our ambient temperature shipping envelopes are made from 100% sustainably sourced paper and are fully recyclable.

Environmental Benefits

Ambient temperature shipping provides many environmental benefits such as reduced packaging and reduced fuel use. It removes the need for polystyrene boxes, ice packs and the energy used in freezing them. 10% of our product shipments are delivered in this minimal packaging. 

Find out more about global and UK-specific NEB Sustainability Initiatives.


Once you receive your order please store it at the temperature recommended on the product data card.

Cold Shipment - 
Eco Shipping Boxes

Since December 2020, NEB UK started moving away from polystyrene and towards a more sustainable cold shipping solution.
Our new Eco-Boxes maintain the cold shipping temperature requirements needed to ship NEB products, but are either 100% recyclable (medium-sized box) or are recyclable with a compostable/biodegradable insert (large-sized box).

Both box inserts were specifically designed for thermal protection. They were tested under varying shipping conditions and maintain proper temperature requirements for the delivery of NEB products.

Medium Eco-Box: cardboard outer carton containing TemperPack®, ClimaCell® insulated box liners, made from plant-based materials features layers of paper and bio-based material.
Learn more at

Large Eco-Box: cardboard outer carton containing a LANDBOX® HEMP insulating insert, 100% natural, without additives, disposal with organic waste.
Learn more at

Cold Shipment - Polystyrene Boxes and Recycling Programme 

Whilst we transition to the new Eco-Boxes and until we identify additional solutions, NEB will still rely on polystyrene shipping boxes for a portion of our products, including those that require shipment on dry ice (e.g. competent cells), small shipments requiring only one ice pack, and larger shipments. 

We are maintaining the polystyrene shipping box recycling programme for any polystyrene shipping boxes in circulation. If you receive a polystyrene shipping box, you are welcome to use the free return label to send your box back to NEB, where we will arrange for its proper recycling.

Please remove any ice packs to prevent water leakage. Our cold shipment ice packs are made from recyclable plastic and water or water-based gel. We encourage customers to re-use the ice packs but they are also 100% recyclable. The gel degrades in sunlight and is perfect for garden irrigation.

Product Stability and Buffer Integrity

The activity of NEB products is guaranteed regardless of shipment method. While we recommend storage of our enzymes at -20°C, exposure to higher temperatures (4 to 10°C) during shipping does not pose any risk to the enzymes. In fact, during the purification process (up to 3 weeks) enzymes are maintained at these temperatures as they are purified from proteases and other contaminants which might interfere with their stability. Furthermore, each enzyme is shipped in a specific storage buffer which has been optimized for long-term stability.

NEB enzymes are stored in buffered 50% glycerol and remain liquid at temperatures down to -35°C. If these enzymes are stored at colder temperatures (for example, in the presence of dry ice) the products will freeze. Proteins subjected to repeated freeze/thaw cycles may lose activity.

All of our enzymes are provided with tubes of optimum reaction buffer. These buffer solutions and the ice packs (where applicable) are frozen to -20°C before they leave our facility, however they may have thawed upon arrival at their final destination. This is no cause for concern with our wet ice shipments since buffer integrity is maintained.


Once you receive your order please store it at the temperature recommended on the product data card.

Free delivery to UK mainland customers.
NEB UK ships free of charge to all our UK mainland customers.