Shipping Guidelines

General Shipping Guidelines

  • All samples must be labeled clearly with a sample name. Please write directly onto the tube cap with a non-smudge marker. 
  • Shipping can be rough on packages and envelopes both physically and temperature-wise. Microcentrifuge tubes and plates should be parafilmed and placed into a secondary rigid container (ex. conical tube or hard cardboard box.) Bubble wrap, Kimwipes, or loose packing paper can be used for additional sample protection.
  • Always include a printed copy of your SeqCenter Shipping Information page with your samples. If you are shipping on wet or dry ice please place the quote in a sealed bag or sleeve. 
  • If shipping on dry ice, we recommend ~5-10lbs of dry ice per day of transit. Please place samples into a secondary container to avoid damage during shipping and so that they are easily located on opening. Refer to your shipping company for additional instruction on how to package and label a dry ice shipment.

Please make sure to include proper safety documentation and labeling as required by the CDC, and federal and local laws. Insufficient details may cause delays in delivery. Your institution’s safety officer or shipping carrier may provide additional resources on requirements.

Notes for Timing Shipments

We can accept packages Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM Eastern Standard Time, and are unable to accept weekend deliveries.

  • For overnight shipments, we recommend shipping out Monday – Thursday morning.
  • Sensitive or precious samples should be shipped by Wednesday afternoon, to avoid potentially being delayed over a weekend.
  • “First Overnight” services deliver before our hours of operations, but most carriers will be reattempt delivery later in the day.

Shipping delays are common around all holidays. Some overnight shipments can take an extra 12-24 hours to arrive.

We highly recommended checking your package’s tracking number to verify the status of your shipment, especially in the case of international samples. We are not responsible for samples lost or delayed in shipping. 

Cases When Additional Permits Apply

Certain samples receiving extraction services (viable cells) will require additional permits for SeqCenter to receive. If your extraction sample falls into the following categories, please contact us at

  • All soil samples being sent from outside of the state of Pennsylvania
  • Samples that are considered infectous or pathogenic agents to plants or livestock being sent from outside of the state of Pennyslvania
  • Samples that are considered infectious or pathogenic agents to humans (CDC Category B materials) being sent from outside of the USA

Samples that do not require additional permits will still need documentation stating their contents and non-hazardous nature, and proper labeling for UN3373 (CDC Category B) or UN1485 (dry ice) as applicable.

    Decreasing Biosafety Hazards

    Some potentially infectious samples can be deactivated, reducing their hazard categorization and easing the shipping process. DNA and RNA protectants like Zymo Research’s DNA/RNA Shield can be used to neutralize certain biological samples. (This particular kit is also expressly compatible with all of our extraction services.)

    When shipping samples that have been neutralized, make sure to include the specific reagent use in the shipping documentation, and any supporting evidence (whether from the manufacturer or additional testing) of its efficacy for the organisms being shipped.

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