Warehouse Operations & Receiving

TU’s central warehouse and primary receiving hub are located in the General Services Building at 300 West Towsontown Blvd. At this hub, we unload, inspect and verify shipments; coordinate the on-campus distribution of the shipments; and, when necessary, arrange for and assist in the on-site delivery of shipments. Our operations aim to reduce excessive carrier traffic on campus and ensure the correct and timely delivery of packages.

Shipments and Packages

Personal Packages

It is inappropriate to use university and state resources to handle personal packages and to conduct personal business. We ask that employees do not request vendors make deliveries of personal purchases to the university. In the event that this does occur, for example a third party might send a package to an employee, the university will not be liable for loss or damages. Our policy generally requires that we not open packages other than those procured on a purchase order. It is not always possible for our staff to determine whether a delivery is personal. Employees who live on campus are exempt from this policy.

Small Package Delivery

Small package carriers will deliver to receiving locations with two exceptions —packages designated for express shipment (including overnight and second-day air) are delivered directly to the consignee by the carrier and vendors servicing the university’s office supply contract deliver directly to the appropriate department. Deliveries sent to TU receiving are typically a mix of direct purchases and university purchase orders. Purchase order deliveries are checked against the purchase order specifications, whereas direct purchase shipments are logged and staged for campus delivery the following day. Contents of direct purchases are not opened or inspected by us with the exception of computers, which are labeled with a TU bar-code at the point of receipt.

To expedite delivery, proper addressing is very important. Please see Addressing Packages for proper formatting.

Onsite Delivery and Installations

Material Management is often the designated point of contact on university purchase orders for vendors and carriers coordinating delivery to departments. Vendors and carriers are typically instructed to contact us at least three to five days in advance. As the designated POC, our warehouse manager will coordinate the delivery schedule between vendor, carrier and the buying department or individual to ensure the successful completion of the shipment. This reduces the possibility of a refused shipment and the confusion and scrambling that may ensue without proper planning.

The department or individual responsible for making the buying decision is the only party authorized to approve as acceptable the goods or property delivered; determine and direct the proper placement of property; and inspect, verify and accept property received against a purchase order. Our involvement as a third party facilitator limits our ability to make unilateral decisions on behalf of departments.

Material Management or the Property Records office will properly label capital assets for identification and recording purposes. The department should review Property Records policies to ensure compliance with all procedures for property tagging, recording, etc.

Urgent Packages

In the event that a regular, that is, non-express shipment, becomes urgent in the interim of vendor processing and carrier handling, let us know and we will flag the order for your notification. When delivery is made at our receiving station, we will contact you, so that you may pick up the package at our warehouse, or, if circumstances permit, we will attempt same-day delivery. Otherwise, delivery scheduling will be as usual. If you need to contact us about a delivery, you should have ready the following information:

  • Name of addressee
  • Department name
  • Vendor/Shipper
  • Order number
  • Date expected or date shipped
  • General description of order
  • Contact name and extension

Tracking a Shipment

If you have placed your order directly with a vendor, you must contact them regarding the shipping status. They should be able to answer any questions regarding time of delivery and the filling of your order. Often, a package's progress can be followed with a tracking ID number when shipped via UPS, FedEx or a similar carrier. In addition, Material Management maintains a daily log of all deliveries made to our receiving centers. A copy of this log becomes our delivery record for the next day's deliveries and subsequent follow-up tracking.

Damaged Shipments

Packages are delivered to each department's central office only. Individuals should inspect their direct purchase order as soon as possible. While we inspect packaging for apparent or external damage at the time of receipt, we do not open these packages, so it is up to you to contact the vendor in the event of shortage or concealed damage. If we have identified apparent damage to your delivery, we will have the carrier note the damage as a part of their delivery record, and we will contact you regarding the damage.  In the event we cannot reach you, delivery will be refused and we will email the department, alerting you to this fact. If you discover damage to your order, contact the vendor/shipper and let them know that the damage has been recorded by the carrier.

Refused Shipment

Packages often arrive with incomplete addresses, and some are addressed to persons of whom there is no record. We refer to campus directories, the post office and other campus resources to identify the recipient. If the information is available on the shipping label, we attempt to contact the vendor. Sometimes, though rarely, all of these measures fall short, and we have no choice but to return or refuse the delivery. If you are a newcomer to Towson, please be sure your name has been added to the campus directories and contact us so that we know who and where you are. Office managers should notify us by e-mail of department personnel additions or separations as well as changes of address and directions for forwarding or re-directing any deliveries.


If you need to return a package, you should contact the vendor. If you are responsible for the return freight, you should contact the post office to arrange pick-up by USPS or one of the university's contract carriers. If the shipper is paying for the return shipping, they will authorize the return and provide you with instructions for having the package returned. In the case of UPS and other carriers, they will either issue a call tag that the usual route driver will attach to the package upon pick-up or send a prepaid return label for you to attach to the package.