Shipping Information and Returns

Freight and Shipping Information

Freight is the transporting of goods by water, land or air.  Some items considered as freight are:  printed matter, art objects, laboratory equipment, hazardous materials, and office furniture.  Items may be time sensitive or perishable and require a very short delivery time.  Deciding which carrier to use can be challenging and more expensive than necessary if proper thought is not given prior to shipment.  Purchasing Services encourages the use of vendors with whom USU or the State of Utah has existing contracts.  The State Contracts were developed to ensure proper handling of shipments at the lowest price available to the University.   Truckload carrier and international shipping quotes are available upon request.  Contact Jeff Crosbie 435-797-1039 to set up a department account with any of these carriers.

Return Form

Incoming freight

International shipments may arrive by water or air; domestic shipments are usually by air or land.  Small parcels and printed matter are considered freight and are delivered a variety of ways, such as:  US Postal Service, Federal Express, and UPS.   Larger boxes could be delivered by the same type of carrier or could be delivered by larger freight carriers such as the LTL (Less Than Truck Load) types that are generally recognized as motor freight companies and truckload carriers. 

Outgoing freight

The University does ship items for a variety of reasons: returning items not needed or wanted; double shipments; books and other materials shipped to students; books shipped from the University Press; items sent for repair; etc.  Although some departments do handle their own shipping, the majority of freight leaving USU is handled by the Receiving Department.  Departments with questions involving packaging or return shipping issues should contact John Hillyard at 797-2085, in the Receiving Department.

Bills of Lading

A Bill of Lading is the receipt issued to the shipper by the carrier, listing the goods received for shipment.  It is imperative that accurate addresses be given on the bill of lading, including the name and telephone number of a contact person.  The bill of lading determines who will pay the shipping charges by a check in one of the two boxes listed for this purpose: 1) Prepaid or 2) Collect.  Checking the “prepaid” box indicates that the shipper pays the freight costs. The box marked “collect” determines that the receiver of the merchandise pays the freight charges.  Freight companies are usually reluctant to reverse charges, so be sure the proper box is chosen initially.   If USU is paying the freight, check the “collect” box.  We will then be billed directly by the freight carrier rather than the vendor, who may add additional charges to their freight bill and pass on to us, inflated freight charges. Occasionally a vendor may be able to have the freight delivered to us at a lesser cost, but we need to know the vendor’s cost to determine which would be less expensive.  In these cases, after the vendor is charged they will in turn bill us for the freight as a line item on their invoice.  If this is the case, check the “prepaid” box on the bill of lading.  Freight charges will be imposed for all items delivered to the University in one form or another.   Remember freight collect is not the same as C.O.D

Signatures on receipt documents

When asked to sign a document indicating that freight has been delivered, be sure all the boxes or items you are signing for are there; count them or we may be billed for items that were shipped by the supplier but never received by the University.  If there are dents, holes,  abuse, etc. on the packages, open the box immediately and examine the contents.  Indicate the potential problem on the delivery papers before signing for the delivery.  If damage has occurred, we will be able to file a claim and obtain reimbursement.  If complaints arise without proper documentation in place, the freight company will disallow the claim since they cannot be sure the damage did not occur after the delivery was made.

Proper addressing on freight

If outgoing freight does not have an adequate address or if the shipment is delivered to the wrong address, one of two things happens: 1) research by the carrier for a corrected address may cost the University additional money, if the package is delivered; 2) the delivery may be returned to USU because of inadequate or incorrect addressing, and the University will probably pay the freight going out and coming back.  When the address is corrected, an attempt will be made to deliver the package again with additional charges levied for this service.

To ensure correct and timely delivery, the building name, room number and a contact name are necessary for deliveries made directly to campus departments by a vendor or shipping company.   When having Central Distribution deliver to inter-campus departments, the department university mail code (i.e. 8300) followed by  “Old Main Hill” is a proper format.

Payment of Freight bills

Purchasing Services encourages the payment of freight bills on a “net 1” basis.  Departments should examine the freight bills and if inaccurate take steps to get them corrected.   All invoices should be forwarded to Purchasing for prompt payment.  Freight bills are audited for correctness and paid immediately.

Shipping-time considerations

Perishable or time-sensitive materials require immediate delivery.  International shipments can require a longer delivery time.  Plan ahead and anticipate the delivery time, then adjust your schedules accordingly.


Freight contracts are generated by the State and can save the University money while assuring on-time delivery and quality service. We usually see savings for all freight movements when these contracts are used.

Shipping Order

The shipping order is designed to instruct the Receiving Department as to: 1) Shipping destination; 2) How charges will be paid; 3) Department involved; 4) Contact person at destination.; 5) What is being shipped; 6) Freight company suggested; 7) Prepaid or Collect (Vendor paid); 8) Insurance coverage amount.  Departments should not ship items from the University without having the Shipping and Receiving Department process the shipping order.


Deliveries from the Salt Lake area may be less expensive if we use local state carriers such as Miller Express, Express Messenger, Pony Express and others. 

Arrangements for household moving of faculty or staff to the campus should be made by booking the move with Bailey’s Moving and Storage in Salt Lake City (the agent for Allied Van Lines).  Contact Emiko Smith at 435 797-1263 prior to making arrangements for any household moves.