Sample Submission Instructions General Information (U.S.) – Sample Submissions

Follow these guidelines to ensure successful sample submission.


We recommend shipping priority overnight express via FedEx overnight delivery. If you chose another carrier, please check their policies on dry ice shipments.

Shipping schedule

Please ship FROZEN samples MONDAY, TUESDAY, or WEDNESDAY; Thursday shipments WITH PRIOR APPROVAL. Our labs are closed on weekends and major US holidays. Also, be aware that delivery delays are common during the two weeks before Christmas.

Notify us

Send notice of sample shipment by email to [email protected] PRIOR to shipping. Please include:

  1. The completed Testing Order Form with:
    • Customer account number & PI’s name
    • Total number of samples (NOT number of subjects)
    • Test(s) requested and if singlet or duplicate testing is required
  2. Attach an EXCEL file listing sample IDs down one column
  3. Shipment’s tracking number

Packaging Instructions


Shipping specimens on dry ice is regulated by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Postal Service (UPSP) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), under Hazardous Materials Regulations. Please ship your samples in compliance with your institutions Hazardous Materials policies.

Shipping human and animal specimens is regulated by the same entities as listed above. It is your responsibility to correctly categorize your specimens and to ensure that you are following the appropriate regulations.

Local certified third party packaging vendors (like the UPS Store) can also provide services for shipping frozen human or animal specimens on dry ice.

Dry ice, please see:

Biological specimens, please see:

Supplies needed

  1. Shipping container (styrofoam/insulating inner shipper and cardboard outer shipper)
  2. Cryostorage storage boxes (2 or 4 inch depending on tube size)
  3. Newspaper
  4. Paper towels or other absorbent material
  5. Testing Services Order Form
  6. Dry ice
  7. Ziploc bags

Shipping container

The shipping container consists of a corrugated cardboard box with an insulating Styrofoam box insert (1 to 2" wall thickness). Insulated shipping containers are available from scientific supply companies such as Fisher (Thermo-Safe).

NOTE: Use the smallest bioshipper possible for your samples. Shipping rates are determined based on the outer box dimensions as well as “to” and “from” zip codes.

Packaging saliva samples

  1. Primary specimen containers (vials, tubes, etc.) MUST be sealed and leak proof.
  2. Determine the volume of your specimens to pack per Dry Ice Recommendations
  3. There must be enough absorbent material between the primary container and the insulated shipping carton to absorb all liquid if a leak occurs. (Crumpled newspaper used to stabilize contents against shipping can serve as your absorbent material.)
  4. Place cryovials (2 mL) into a 9 x 9 grid cryostorage box (81 vials per box) or conical/swab storage tubes into a 7 x 7 grid box (both available from Salimetrics).
  5. Secure single cryostorage box lid with rubber bands. For extra security, boxes may be placed inside plastic bags.
  6. Place the necessary dry ice, covered with crumpled newspaper or other absorbent material in bottom of insulated shipper.
  7. Place filled and closed cryostorage boxes on top of newspaper.
  8. Fill any remaining space on sides and between cryoboxes with additional packing material (crumpled paper, packing peanuts, etc.) to prevent shifting.
  9. Place several layers of newspaper on top of the specimens.
  10. Place remaining dry ice for your sample volume on top of specimens and place the lid on the box.
  11. REMEMBER: As the dry ice sublimates your samples may begin to shift. It is a good idea to loosely pack the container to the top. (DO NOT overstuff and crack the Styrofoam box!)
  12. Place the TESTING SERVICES ORDER FORM along with the roster inside a Ziploc bag. Lay the Ziploc bag inside the insulated box before closing the lid.
  13. DO NOT TAPE the Styrofoam lid. Dry Ice containers must "breathe"
    • If the lid is “popping up”, remove excess packing material. DO NOT OVERFILL.
  14. Place the insulated container inside the cardboard shipper.
  15. Seal the outer cardboard box with packing tape. DO NOT TAPE ALL SEAMS.
  16. The outer shipping container must be labeled with the identify, as appropriate:
    • IF your specimens are “Exempt Human” or “Exempt Animal” (see references) label the outside of the box “Exempt human specimen” or “Exempt animal specimen
    • If your specimens are Category B you must use the hazardous placard label and enter the identification code UN 3373
    • Salimetrics DOES NOT accept Category A specimens
  17. The outer shipping carton must bear the hazardous material warning label and must be clearly marked:
    • Carbon Dioxide Solid, UN1845” Or “Dry Ice, UN1845.
      • The weight in kilograms must be written on the hazard label.
    • 18. Prepare any shipping papers per your institution’s, shipper’s, or carrier’s instructions.

Avoiding Shipping Problems

If you have any questions, please call PRIOR to shipping. Here's a short list of helpful advice:

  • Specimens that are not exempt require different labeling, warnings, and additional shipping papers.
  • Do not ship samples on THURSDAY without prior approval
  • All samples MUST be frozen prior to shipment.
  • Rubber bands should not come into direct contact with dry ice. They will break at cold temperatures.
  • Never place samples directly on the dry ice.
  • DO NOT send loose sample vials. Use Cryostorage boxes.
  • DO NOT OVERPACK. Over-packed Styrofoam will crack and dry ice will be consumed faster.
  • Regulations require that the diamond shaped dry ice sticker be placed on the outside of the shipping box.
  • The amount of dry ice in kilograms, not pounds, must be noted on the sticker.
  • Shipment will be delayed if not filled-out properly.

Shipping Samples to Salimetrics from Outside the United States

  • Contact your local shipping authority for specific instructions regarding documentation that must accompany your samples.
  • A deviation from the proper procedure will cause a delay in getting samples through United States Customs.
  • Transit times may be more than one day. Please take this into account when packaging your samples.
  • Shipping regulations differ outside of the United States. Please investigate this before shipping.
  • Some countries may not allow shipments of dry ice.
  • Dry ice may be difficult and/or impossible to obtain “in country”. Check availability before traveling outside the US!