Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I contact with questions or issues involving shipments?

Contact UNLV’s Shipping and Receiving department and have the shipper's bar code number (FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc.) which is used to track the status of your item.

How are chemical shipments identified?

Some chemical shipping containers are marked with Department of Transportation (DOT) labels indicating the hazards of the contents (flammable liquid, oxidizer, toxic, dangerous when wet, corrosive, etc.). Also, well-known chemical suppliers such as Sigma-Aldrich, Fisher Scientific, Alfa Aesar, Strem Chemicals, and others like Bio-Rad, suggest chemical contents.

How are non-chemical items from vendors of chemicals identified or handled?

Some chemical suppliers such as Sigma-Aldrich, Fisher, and VWR also supply non-chemical items such as laboratory equipment and glassware. In some cases, boxes have external markings identifying the contents (such as beakers or pipettes), which alleviate the need for further inspection. Any box transferred to Risk Management & Safety (RMS) by UNLV's Shipping and Receiving will be opened to check for chemicals. Boxes that do not contain chemicals will be immediately re-sealed and delivered on the same day they were received.

How are biological samples or animal shipments handled?

Samples containing biological materials are usually externally labeled (identifying the contents) and will not be intercepted. Animal shipments will not be intercepted by RMS.

How are cold-packed shipments handled?

Perishable items are usually shipped on dry ice and externally labeled, identifying the contents. They will not be intercepted by RMS.

Will chemical bottles be completely removed from their packaging for inventory and will they be re-packaged for delivery?

Chemicals will be removed from their packaging (except containers in metal cans) to place a UNLV bar code label on each container, then re-packaged in the same manner as originally sent by the supplier and according to federal DOT regulations.

What if the chemical bottle is packaged inside a metal can? Will the can be opened?

No. Metal cans containing chemicals will not be opened. The item will be inventoried and a notification and a barcode will be taped to the can. Place the barcode on the chemical after opening the metal can.

I paid extra for express overnight delivery of my chemicals. Will they be delivered to me the same day they arrive at UNLV?

These packages will be intercepted by RMS, and delivered on the same day. However, if the buyer needs it prior to the RMS delivery, they can go to receiving and pick it up.

What do I do if I receive a chemical that accidentally has not been intercepted and bar-coded?

You can inventory the chemical yourself using CHIMERA, or contact Ann Yaris at or 702-895-4259 with your name, the building and room where the chemical is used/stored, and a phone number where you can be reached. An RMS staff member will contact you and visit your lab to inventory the item. Please keep the box until after RMS arrives so that we can better understand why the item was overlooked, but please proceed with your use of the item.

What happens if RMS breaks a bottle while doing the inventory?

The purchaser will be notified and RMS will replace the item.

What happens if the container was broken by the shipper and was found to be leaking when delivered?

If a chemical container is found to be broken due to shipping (not due to RMS activities), RMS will notify the purchaser so a claim can be filed with the manufacturer to replace the item. The event will be documented and the contents of broken chemical containers will be moved to the university's hazardous waste accumulation area. Once it is safe to do so, the other items in the package will be delivered to the purchaser as soon as possible.

What about large gas cylinders such as those containing nitrogen, oxygen, acetylene, carbon dioxide, and other commonly used gases? They are usually delivered directly to my lab by the supplier. Do they need to be delivered to central receiving?

No, do not instruct suppliers to send large gas cylinders containing the gases listed above to UNLV's Shipping and Receiving. You may continue with the delivery of large gas cylinders directly to your lab from the supplier. However, medium-sized cylinders and small lecture bottles with custom gas mixtures or specialty gases can be delivered to receiving, especially if a local supplier is not available and the item is shipped via traditional shippers (UPS, FedEx, or Ground Freight).

What about cryogenic liquids such as liquid nitrogen and helium?

If they are currently delivered directly to your lab or re-filled in your lab, you can continue that practice.