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 enables users to move packages safely and expediently, whether the package’s final destination is across town or over an ocean.

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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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.

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

A.  Use your PennKey and password to log on to eShip@Penn.

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

A. There are several ways that you can replenish your shipping supplies.  Please go to the top of your eShip@Penn landing page and click on Supplies.  Then follow the prompts to order UPS, FedEx or DHL materials.

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YOUR SHIPPER PROFILE AND ADDRESS BOOK

Q. What is my Shipper Profile?

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

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

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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.

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

A. From the “My Account” link found on pages throughout the site, select Address Book.  Click on Add found at the bottom of the page.  You can then enter the contact information along with any shipping defaults you would like to establish for that person.

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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. Click the Update button found at the bottom of the page.  Proceed with making your changes, then click Update.  Your changes will be saved to your address book.

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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.

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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 or recipient you would like to delete, confirm your choice, and then click Delete.

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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 quick ship option that can be used when you ship the same package repeatedly to the same recipient  at the Ship view screen, simply select the recipient you are shipping to and click “Ship It.”

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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 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.

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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.

Scheduling routine 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.

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

A.   You can request a carrier pick up online as well as submitting a request to Penn Mail Services. Another option is to take the package to one of the carrier offices located in the area.  Click here to see the location of nearby offices.

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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 for. 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.

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Q. Can I print a label for my package?

A. After successful execution of the shipment, users are provided with an order confirmation and tracking number associated with the shipping order. Users can click “print label” to view the airway bill online and print it to the printer linked to your computer.

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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 regulation, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 shipment is requesting a harmonized code.  What is that?

A. A harmonized code should be assigned to a commodity you are shipping internationally and your package must go through customs.  It is used to help determine customs fees and any applicable duty fees.  Should you not have a code, customs may assign one to the package and it could result in higher than anticipated charges.  If you do not know your harmonized code, you should work with your carrier to obtain one.

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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 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 2016. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.);
  • Annual increases in shipping fees assessed by carriers;
  • Taxes and fees; and
  • Administrative costs that will continue to be assessed as the University transitions to eShip@Penn.

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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.

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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.

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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 feed into your department’s general ledger.

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

A. Charges appear on a routine schedule every week.

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

A. Authorized Shippers may not change the preset 26-digit object code.  A special field has been added called “Account to Charge,” which can be used to provide additional information about the package being shipped. Your School or Center may also have specific requirements for what type of information needs to be provided. Please check with your Business Administrator for more information.

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

A. A shipper should contact their carrier to inquire whether they can be compensated for lost packages.

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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

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