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OU Administrative Policies
and Procedures

371 Wilson Blvd., Suite 4000
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)

OU Administrative Policies
and Procedures

371 Wilson Blvd., Suite 4000
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)

1370 Central Receiving


RATIONALE:  To provide guidelines and information regarding the receipt and distribution of all goods delivered to Oakland University (University) in support of University-related functions, excluding those serviced by the Mail Services Department. 

POLICY:  The Central Receiving Department (CRD) is responsible for accepting packages from External Carriers (other than from the U.S. Postal Service, which is handled by the Mail Room) and delivering these packages to the ordering department.  Responsibility includes an outer visual inspection of Goods received and use of an automated tracking system to document correct and timely disposition of deliveries to the drop-off location.

CRD is not responsible for sorting or distributing packages within a destination department.  Each ordering department is responsible for verifying that the contents of a package matches its packing slip and is consistent with what was ordered.

University personnel placing orders that result in package delivery to the University should include information that expedites delivery, i.e., a department name, department location, purchase order number whenever possible, and the name of the individual who placed the order.

All items must be University business related.  The CRD will not accept any personal shipments.

The CRD may deliver printed material from the University Printing Services area to ordering departments.

SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY:  This policy is applicable to all University departments receiving goods except pieces handled by the Mail Services Department.  See OU AP&P #1340 Mail Service for information regarding those items.


Call Tag:  A pre-addressed label sent by a supplier to pay for the shipping costs for a return item.  An External Carrier should be notified to pick-up the item for return to the supplier via CRD.

Central Receiving Department (CRD):  Formerly called Shipping and Receiving, this department accepts shipments for the University community and distributes these items to the appropriate ordering department.  The staff reports to the Director of University Services.

External Carrier:  A person or business that transports goods to the University from an outside vendor; for example, United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (FedEx).

Goods:  Commodity items purchased on behalf of the University includes but is not limited to supplies, materials, and equipment.

Tracking Number:  Multi-digit/character identification assigned by External Carriers to most packages from outside sources/vendors.  CRD scans all packages and affixes a bar-coded identifying label to track the on-campus routing from the receiving dock to the end recipient.



The CRD staff will maintain normal operating hours.  See the CRD website for more information.  Staff should be in place at the University receiving dock to accept packages from those carriers that follow a standard delivery schedule (UPS, FedEx).  In the event of a random freight arrival while staff is out completing on-campus deliveries, CRD staff will be contacted via electronic communication.

General Processes 

  • CRD will make deliveries to the address shown on the package or to the main office of the department.

  • Deliveries are made weekdays consistent with the University business calendar.  A signature is required at the time of delivery.  This will preferably be captured electronically on a hand-held device.

  • The University community may schedule a time to pick up packages at the Receiving Dock by contacting the CRD directly.

  • The Purchasing Department must be notified of any special delivery concerns or instructions, or if the package(s) requires special handling (such as size).  This information should also be communicated to CRD. 

  • The CRD vehicle has size and weight restrictions.  If a package is too large for CRD to move, CRD will assist the ordering department in arranging for delivery by the moving department or a local firm contracted by the University.  The ordering department will be responsible for any related expenses.

  • Upon request, the CRD may provide temporary storage of newly-received goods, not to exceed 72 hours.

  • The recipient department must verify that the packages delivered are correct, with the proper quantity and not damaged.  The department must sign for the packages acknowledging delivery.  The CRD is not liable for any packages once the department has signed for them.

Unacceptable Incoming Goods

The following items will not be accepted by the CRD.  The department must be contacted to make delivery arrangements:

  • Unidentifiable packages without a specific name or address or Purchase Order number

  • Cash on Delivery (C.O.D.) items

  • Personal items

  • Damaged items

  • Food deliveries

  • Highly contagious materials

  • Radioactive materials

  • Hazardous materials (direct to departments)

  • Gas cylinders (direct to departments)

  • Live animals

  • Fertilizer or grass seed (direct to Grounds Maintenance or to Golf Courses)

Shipments/items weighing over 500 pounds or larger than 3' x 3' x 6' may need special handling.  Please contact CRD in advance of shipping large items to make sure appropriate arrangements are made. 

Post-Receipt Exceptions or Special Processing:

1.  Wrong Material

If the wrong material was received or is damaged, the recipient department must notify the vendor immediately, as well as the Purchasing Department if a University purchase order is involved.  If the merchandise is being returned via a Call Tag, the department must notify the CRD for pick up.

2.  Damaged Goods

The vendor should be notified immediately of any goods that are received in a damaged condition.  Package and contents (including all inner packaging material) must be preserved in its original state until instructions for return or replacement are verified.  Many external carriers require an inspection report within 10 days of delivery.

3.  Unknown (Undeliverable) Addressee

If the only distinctive portion of a delivery address is a person’s name (i.e., department or building address not specified) and that person cannot be identified, the CRD will return the package to the sender.  Goods with a business purpose for part-time faculty or for graduate assistants need the department name included in the delivery address.

4.  Packages Requiring Refrigeration

Upon receipt, the CRD will place goods identified as requiring refrigeration in a standard refrigerator until delivery to the ordering department/individual.

Tracking Delivery of Packages
In the event of delayed delivery, the CRD can determine where a package is in the carrier’s delivery system using a Tracking Number supplied by the ordering department.  If there is no Tracking Number and the CRD does not show receipt of the item, the ordering department should contact the vendor and request a tracer.

Incorrectly delivered item:  If it is determined that a package was delivered to the incorrect department, notify the CRD and a staff member will pick up the package for re-processing.
Outgoing Shipment of Packages

Packages to be shipped must be taken to the Mail Services Department.  If the package is a return and requires a Call Tag, the return should be processed through the Central Receiving Department.  In either event, the parcel will be inspected to ensure it is properly packaged, labeled and meets all applicable standards.


OU AP&P #1340 Mail Service