Maintaining organ viability after donation until transplantation is critically important for optimal graft function and survival. To date, static cold storage is the most widely used form of preservation in every day clinical practice. Although simple and effective, it is questionable whether this method is able to prevent deterioration of organ quality in the present era with increasing numbers of organs retrieved from older, more marginal, and even non-heart-beating donors. This review describes principles involved in effective preservation and focuses on some basic components and methods of abdominal organ preservation in clinical and experimental transplantation. Concepts and developments to reduce ischemia related injury are discussed, including hypothermic machine perfusion. Despite the fact that hypothermic machine perfusion might be superior to static cold storage preservation, organs are still exposed to hypothermia induced damage. Therefore, recently some groups have pointed at the beneficial effects of normothermic machine perfusion as a new perspective in organ preservation and transplantation.