Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Information

What is eShip@Penn™?
What are the benefits of using eShip@Penn?
Who may ship using eShip@Penn?
Is training required for eShip@Penn users?

Getting Started using eShip@Penn

What do I need to start shipping with eShip@Penn?
What is my log on credential for eShip@Penn?
How do I obtain shipping materials from the various carriers?

Shipper Profile & Address Book

What is my Shipper Profile?
What is the eShip@Penn Address Book?
Is there a way to import my addresses in Microsoft Outlook into the eShip@Penn application?
How can I enter shipping addresses directly into my address book?
How can I edit addresses in my address book?
Can I save new addresses to my address book?
How do I delete addresses in my address book?
I often send packages to the same recipient and groups.  Is there a way to do this quickly and efficiently?

Shipping - General, Domestic and International

Do I need the dimensions of my package to determine the rates I am charged?
How can I schedule a pick-up with a carrier?
My package is too large to fit in a drop box.  What should I do?
Where can I find information about the location of drop boxes on on campus and nearby carrier offices?
Can I print a label for my package?
I want to send an international package and the country I want to ship to is not available on the drop down menu.  Why is it not listed?
How can I cancel a shipment?
What is the difference between international 'document' and 'non-document' shipments?
What is a Product Profile?
What is a Shipper's Export Declaration (SED)?
It looks like my shipment is requesting a harmonized code?  What is that?

Shipping Hazardous, Biological, Chemical and Radiological Materials with eShip@Penn

Can I schedule a return shipment or request a third-party shipment of regulated materials using eShip@Penn?

I understand there are specific requirements if I want to ship hazardous materials. What steps do I need to take?

What is a Material Transfer Agreement?
Are there special requirements in shipping lithium batteries?

 

Financial Reporting and Administration Information (Shippers, Allocators, Administrators)

How much will it cost to ship my packages?
What reporting options are available to program administrators?
How can I learn whether my intended recipient has received my package?

Will I continue to receive an invoice from the carriers?

When can I expect to see my charges appear within my monthly ledger feed?

I understand that the object code has been preset to a default.  How can I change this?

I have been charged for a shipment that was lost.  What is my option for restitution?

There were problems with my shipment. Do the carriers provide refunds?

GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

Q. What is eShip@Penn?

A. eShip@Penn® is the University’s enhanced express shipping platform and management solution, which offers comprehensive online tools for shippers and facilitates compliance with regulatory guidelines. eShip@Penn is a web-based platform that enables users to move packages safely and expediently, whether the package’s final destination is across town or overseas.

Back to top

Q. What are the benefits of using eShip@Penn?

A. The primary advantage of the system is to minimize the University’s risk associated with moving hazardous or other regulated materials and to ensure compliance with safety and other mandates.  The online system also offers benefits to all Penn shippers including allowing users to:

  • Choose from a variety of carriers (UPS, FedEx and DHL) to determine which carrier best meets their specific needs;
  • Shop and compare costs to ensure that Schools and Centers receive the best carrier price available as shippers leverage the University negotiated pricing;
  • Track shipments from an integrated at-a-glance dashboard, regardless of the carrier used to ship the package; and
  • Preprint shipping labels.

Back to top

Q. Who may ship using eShip@Penn?

A. To use the system you must be designated as an Authorized Shipper by a business administrator in your school or center. This designation is one component of a Shipping Hierarchy established for each School or Center, beginning with Senior Business Administrators who play an oversight role for express shipping activities and assign Department Administrators.  These individuals then name the department Allocators. The Allocators authorize departmental shippers and ensure that all related shipping expenses are allocated correctly. More information about the roles of business administrators, allocators and Authorized Shippers may be obtained by contacting  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Back to top

Q. Is training required for eShip@Penn users?

A. eShip@Penn is easy to use and is designed to be intuitive. For faculty and staff that perform routine business shipping, training information comprised of a series of short videos that outline key processes is available at www.upenn.edu/mail/eship. These training materials, along with the FAQs, are also available in the eShip@Penn Help tab, should you need assistance while working inside the system.

For those users who must follow the guidelines associated with regulated or hazardous shipping, required training is available via KnowledgeLink or by contacting Environmental Health and Radiation Safety at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 215.898.4453.  If you are shipping internationally, please make sure you are in compliance with export control laws.  For more information contact the Office of Research Services at www.upenn.edu/researchservices/exportcontrols.

Back to top

GETTING STARTED USING eSHIP@PENN

Q. What do I need to start shipping with eShip@Penn?

A. Prior to logging onto the system, you must be an Authorized Shipper.  Users will also need an Internet connection and access to a computer or workstation along with a printer so that you may print your shipping labels and other related documents.

If you are not an Authorized Shipper for your department, please contact your department business administrator.

Back to top

Q.  What is my log on credential for eShip@Penn?

A.  Use your PennKey and password to authenticate and log on to eShip@Penn.  You can access eShip from Penn Mail Services website Shippers page, or from any computer worldwide.

Back to top

Q. How do I obtain shipping materials from the various carriers?

A. There are several ways that you can replenish your shipping supplies.  You may go to the top of your eShip@Penn landing page and click on Supplies. This will navigate you to the Penn Mail Services site to Request Supplies.

Then follow the prompts to order UPS, FedEx or DHL materials. Supplies are free to departments, and will be delivered by the carrier in 3-5 business days to your campus address provided.  A small number of UPS and DHL supplies are also available at the PennCard Center in the campus Bookstore.

Back to top

YOUR SHIPPER PROFILE AND ADDRESS BOOK

Q. What is my User Profile?

A. The User Profile consists of each shipper’s individual campus address information.

Back to top

Q. What is the eShip@Penn Address Book?

A. The eShip@Penn Address Book allows you to store all of your recipients, along with all of your shipping defaults.  There is both a Sender's Address Book, and a Recipients Address book.

At the Shipping Screen, simply select a contact from your address book in the Ship To pull down, rather than re-entering that recipient’s information each you time you want to send that person a package.

Back to top

Q. Is there a way to import my addresses in Microsoft Outlook into the eShip@Penn application?

A. eShip@Penn provides shippers the option to import frequently used shipping addresses.  From the main Shipping Screen, click on Address Book – Import Addresses.  Enter the location of your address in your address book or click Browse to search for it.  Select your address book format (i.e. – Microsoft Outlook).  Click Import to import the file.  The imported addresses will be saved to your address book.

You may also download the Address Import Users Guide by clicking on Address Book in the top navigation bar, followed by Import Addresses.  Users will then be instructed how to download the guide should they wish to do so.

Back to top

Q. How can I enter shipping addresses directly into my address book?

A. From the “Address Book” Menu item,  select either Recipient or Sender's Address Book.  Click on New found at the top of the page.  You can then enter the contact and address information, required fields are indicated with an asterisk.  If you want to be able to Ship From this location (additional Sender), check the From Location box.   You may also pre-validate the address from the link provided.  Both Domestic and International addresses may be populated. There is an information link for Address Format, helpful for International addressing.  Complete the form, then click Save.

Back to top

Q. How can I edit addresses in my address book?

A. Similar to how you add a new contact, you can update information saved in your address book. Go to either your Recipient or Sender's Address Book.  Select the address to change, then click Edit.  Proceed with making your changes, then click Save Changes.  Your changes will be saved to your address book.  You may also copy and update an existing address to create a new contact, without modifying the original record.  Select the address record to copy as above, make changes, then select Save as Copy, instead.

Back to top

Q. Can I save new addresses to my address book?

A. After entering a new shipping address on the Domestic or International Shipping Screen, you can save it to your address book. Click the Save button located at the bottom of the screen.  The information you entered will now be saved as a new contact.

You can also save addresses to your address book from the Ship screen. After entering the address, simply click the save button and it will automatically be added to your Address Book.

Back to top

Q. How do I delete addresses in my address book?

A. The Delete button is found at the bottom of the Address Book page.  Select the contact(s) or recipient(s) you would like to delete, confirm your choice, and then click Delete.  Once an address is deleted, it is NOT recoverable.

Back to top

Q. I often send packages to the same recipient and groups.  Is there a way to do this quickly and efficiently?

A.  eShip@Penn features a QuickShip option that can be used when you ship the same package repeatedly to the same recipient. To initially create a QuickShip profile, after inputting all your address information and shipping preferences, check the Save/Update box on the shipping screen, and assign a name.  To load an existing QuickShip profile, simply select a saved profile name from the drop down on the Shipping screen, and it will pre-populate all your previously saved shipping criteria. You can also go directly to the QuickShip Menu item, click on the saved profile name link to  immediately open and populate the Shipping screen.

Back to Top

SHIPPING - GENERAL, DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL

Q.  Do I need the dimensions of my package to determine the rates I am charged?

A.  When you seek a rate quote, you will encounter a few scenarios:

  • You do not need to enter the package’s dimensions if you are shipping a Carrier Letter as this area will be grayed out.
  • If you are shipping via Carrier PAK, Box or Tube, you will need to enter an approximate weight, but not dimensions. The dimensions will be grayed out.
  • Should you elect to use “customer packaging,” you will need to both specify an approximate weight, and the dimensions of the package in inches.

Please note: Approximate weights are perfectly fine, even when using the Ship function to actually send a parcel. All parcels are re-weighed upon pickup, and your price will be adjusted accordingly by the carrier. If you provide an approximation of the package’s weight, you will get a near price estimate. For questions regarding dimensional weight, please contact the carrier.

Back to top

Q.  How can I schedule a pick-up with a carrier?

A.  You may choose from three options:

  • You may request a carrier pick up online;
  • Give your package to a carrier; or
  • Drop your package at a shipping drop box on campus.  Please click here to view the location of carrier offices and drop boxes near you.

With sufficient shipping volume, scheduling recurring daily carrier pick-ups for your department is also available by contacting Penn Mail Services at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 215.898.MAIL/6245.

Back to top

Q.  My package is too large to fit in a drop box.  What should I do?

A.   You should request a carrier pick up online within eShip at the conclusion of your shipment. Select Schedule Pickup on the Shipment Confirmation screen, when the tracking number is assigned.  If your building or one nearby has a regularly scheduled pickup location, you may leave your package there with permission.   Another option is to take the package to one of the carrier offices or retail locations located in the area.  Click here to see the location of nearby offices.

Back to top

Q. Where can I find information about the location of drop boxes on campus and nearby carrier offices?

A.  Please click here to view a map of the UPS, FedEx and DHL drop box locations throughout campus. Locations of the drop boxes will be periodically reviewed to ensure that the distribution of the boxes correlates to the shipping volume in areas around campus.

Back to top

Q. Can I print a label for my package?

A. After successful completion of the shipment, users are provided with an eShip order confirmation number and a carrier tracking number associated with the shipping order. Users can click “Print Airwaybill” to view the shipping label online and print it to any printer linked to your computer. International packages may require printing of more than 1 airway bill, and/or a Commercial Invoice.  Commercial invoices for shipments of International Products are required, and can be printed via the Print Docs button on the same screen.

Back to top

Q.  I want to send an international package and the country I want to ship to is not available on the drop down menu. Why is it not listed?

A.  Due to changing export compliance regulations, there can be a variety of reasons why this may occur.  Please contact the Office of Research Services at 215.898.7293 for more information.

Back to top

Q. How do I cancel a shipment?

A. To cancel a shipment select 'Cancel Shipment' in the left hand corner.  You can cancel the shipment on the same day it has been created in the system via the eShip site.  You may not cancel the shipment on the next day or thereafter.  It is recommended that you then contact your carrier.

Back to top

Q.  What is the difference between international ‘document’ and ‘non-document’ shipments?

A.  A ‘document’ shipment incudes paper of little or no commercial value and generally does not require a commercial invoice.  Business correspondence is an example of such a shipment.  A ‘non-document’ shipment defines all other shipments, including printed materials of value.

Back to top

Q.  What is a Product Profile?

A.  A Product Profile is needed for any ‘non-document’ shipment and its product information is printed on the commercial invoice.  The profile should offer a detailed description of the product (i.e. nonhazardous purified DNA and protein samples), number of units, unit weight, unit value, country of manufacture and harmonized code, when applicable, of the product you are shipping.

Back to top

Q.  What is a Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED)?

A.   For information about SEDs, please click here: http://www.upenn.edu/researchservices/exportcontrols.html.

Q. It looks like my International shipment is requesting a harmonized code.  What is that?

A. A harmonized code should be assigned to any commodity you are shipping internationally. It is a 6 -10 digit code separated by periods, to uniquely classify your product for international trade purposes. It is universally used to help determine any applicable customs fees, duties and taxes.  It is also known as a "Schedule B" number by the US Census Bureau.  Should you not have a code, customs may either assign one to the package which could result in higher than anticipated charges, and/or it may cause shipping delays or rejections.   eShip provides a link in the International shipment Item classification screen to an interactive Schedule B lookup tool.  This value will auto-populate on your eShip Commercial Invoice.   If you have difficulty determining your harmonized code, you should work with your carrier to obtain one.  Documents do NOT require a harmonized code.

Back to top

SHIPPING HAZARDOUS, BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL and RADIOLOGICAL MATERIALS WITH eSHIP@PENN

Q. Can I schedule a return shipment or request a third-party shipment of regulated materials using eShip@Penn?

A. This feature is not currently available; however, a new eShip@Penn Collaborator shipping module is under development, which will allow such shipments.  It is anticipated that eShip@Penn will be able to handle inbound regulated shipping by the Spring of 2018. Until such time, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for assistance with these types of shipments.

Back to top

Q. I understand there are specific requirements if I want to ship hazardous materials. What steps do I need to take?

A. Individuals must first complete the required training supporting the regulated shipping process.  Please contact Environmental Health and Radiation Safety at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 215.898.4453. Once the employee has successfully fulfilled this requirement and verified that he or she is an Authorized Shipper within his or her School or Center, the shipper should contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to gain access to the system.

Back to top

Q. What is a Material Transfer Agreement?

A. Whenever research materials are transferred into or out of Penn, a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) must be completed and signed by an authorized Penn representative. Visit http://www.upenn.edu/researchservices/materialtransfer for more information.

Back to top

Q. Are there special requirements in shipping lithium batteries?

A. There are many kinds of batteries available and several, such as lithium batteries, are regulated as hazardous materials in transportation that may only be shipped by contract hazmat shippers.  Both rechargeable and non-rechargeable power sources are common in cell phones, cameras and other small electronic devices.  If these materials are dropped, crushed, or short-circuited, these batteries can release dangerous amounts of heat and may ignite, and are dangerous in fires.  Special regulations apply to shipping batteries.  For more information contact Penn's Office of Environmental Health & Radiation Safety at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 215.898.4453.

Back to top

FINANCIAL, REPORTING and ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION (Shippers, Allocators, Administrators)

Q. How much will it cost to ship my packages?

A. The cost of shipping a package depends on a variety of variables including:

  • Your choice of carrier,
  • The size and weight of your package,
  • The ship-to location, and
  • The type of shipment.

Even after determining the above criteria, there are additional costs. These costs will vary based on what type of goods you are shipping and your shipping requirements and include such things as:

  • Special handling/shipping requirements (perishable goods, dry ice, etc.);
  • Dimensional weight surcharge;
  • Annual increases in shipping fees assessed by carriers;
  • Duties, taxes and fees; and
  • Administrative costs

Back to top

Q. What reporting options are available to program administrators?

A. Financial reports can be generated through the Data Warehouse.  eShip@Penn will allow users to view their shipping history when packages are shipped via the online system.

Back to top

Q. How can I learn whether my intended recipient has received my package?

A. When tracking a package via eShip@Penn, you may click on My Shipments from the top navigation bar to access your information.  You will be asked to input your order number, not the package’s tracking number.  Shippers may also visit the respective carriers’ websites to learn the progress of their shipment.  When speaking with a carrier, please have your tracking number handy as you will be prompted to input the number to fulfill your request.

Back to top

Q. Do I receive an invoice from the carriers?

A. eShip@Penn users will not receive invoices.  Regardless whether you elect to use UPS, FedEx or DHL, when you ship via eShip@Penn, your shipping charges will automatically feed into your department’s general ledger.

Back to top

Q. When can I expect to see my charges appear within my monthly ledger feed?

A. Charges appear on a routine schedule every week.  There may be a 1 to 2 week lag from actual shipment to posting date, depending on timing.  Additionally, trailing charges may post for international shipments, once duties & taxes are fully applied.

Back to top

Q. I understand that the object code has been preset to a default.  How can I change this?

A. Authorized Shippers may not change their default 26-digit budget code.  A special field has been added called “Account to Charge,” which can be used to provide additional information about the package being shipped. This free-text field may be used to designate a cross-charge to another department, study, or grant.   You may use a text description, or a budget code in this field. Your School or Center may also have specific requirements for what type of information needs to be provided. Please check with your Shipping Allocator for more information.

Back to top

Q. I have been charged for a shipment that was lost.  What is my option for restitution?

A. All shippers have the ability to place a claim with the carriers for lost or damaged packages.  The procedure varies by carrier.  Shipper should contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to inquire how their department can be compensated for lost or damaged packages.

Back to top

Q. There were problems with my shipment.  Do the carriers provide refunds?

A. Some carriers may offer a service credit. eShip Global routinely monitors the delivery status of Penn's shipments and by working with those carriers, will determine if a credit is available when circumstances warrant such consideration.  A portion of the carrier's fee may then be returned to the shipper.  The credit will be reflected as a service failure credit on your shipment summary in the eShip system and be posted to the general ledger as a part of your department's weekly shipping activity. If you have questions, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Back to top