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Shipping Your Equipment

Overview

Shipments to ports are the responsibility of the investigator. The Chief Scientist or PI is also responsible for ensuring their equipment is loaded or unloaded from the vessel. You should plan to have a responsible person at the port stop for loading or unloading your equipment. Please do not assume the crew will take care of this for you.

To Woods Hole

Master R/V “Ship’s Name”
C/o “Scientist’s Name”
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Contact Name and Phone number of someone at WHOI.

Scientific equipment shipped to Woods Hole for loading on board vessels should be well labeled to indicate ownership and the vessel upon which it is to be loaded.

Always identify an individual at Woods Hole who can be responsible for shipments upon delivery. That individual should be informed when the shipment is to arrive so that arrangements can be made for handling and storage.

From Woods Hole

Shipping equipment from Woods Hole following a cruise may be accomplished in one of two ways.

1. The science party can directly arrange for freight carriers to pick up their shipments at the dock and investigators (or a designated representative) will be required to consign the equipment to the carrier in person.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Iselin Marine Facility
98 Water St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

2. Scientists may also utilize the WHOI Shipping Department for outbound cargo.

Items for shipment must include a separate list including description, value and destination address.

Packages should be clearly labeled with their destination and all previous shipment labels removed or marked out.

The WHOI Shipping Department can contract national carriers on your behalf if proper financial arrangements have been made ahead of time. Contact the Marine Operations Coordinator regarding finances.

Your institution’s account numbers can also be used through the WHOI Shipping Department for such companies as UPS, FedEx, etc.

Items for shipment must be consigned to a WHOI Shipping Department representative in person. Equipment simply left on the pier by departing investigators will not be shipped.

Dry Ice - Please arrange for Dry Ice delivery well in advance of the end of your cruise. This can be arranged through the Master, agent or Marine Operations Coordinator.

Shipping to other U.S. Ports (not Woods Hole)

Shipments to ports are the responsibility of the investigator. Shipments should be made in a timely manner to avoid delays common in handling scientific equipment to foreign ports. All shipments of scientific equipment should be addressed to:

Master, R/V (name)
c/o Name of Agent
Address of Agent

Please identify the owner and institutional affiliation on each package.

» Agent Information with shipping addresses

It is advisable to notify the agent of shipping information and to request assistance in expediting delivery to the vessel. The Master should also be notified of any special handling requirements. This may be done through the Marine Operations Coordinator.

Shipping from other U.S. Ports (not Woods Hole)

Shipments from the vessel should be arranged by the agent through the Master. Experience has shown that this is the most efficient manner in which to operate.

Shipments arranged through the agent are chargeable to the PI. Financial arrangements should be made in advance with the Marine Operations Coordinator. 

Dry Ice - Please arrange for Dry Ice delivery well in advance of the end of your cruise. This can be arranged through the Master, agent or Marine Operations Coordinator.

Shipping to Foreign Ports

Shipments to foreign ports are the responsibility of the investigator. Shipments should be made in a timely manner to avoid delays common in handling scientific equipment to foreign ports. All shipments of scientific equipment should be addressed to:

Master, R/V (name)
c/o Name of Agent

IN TRANSIT

Address of Agent


Please identify the owner and institutional affiliation on each package.

Link to WHOIPort Agents with shipping addresses - Agent Information

Shipments should contain a statement to the effect they are to be used on the high seas aboard the vessel and that they are not for import.

Usually scientific equipment is held in bond at the point of entry and delivered to the vessel on its arrival by the agent. 

It is advisable to notify the agent of shipping information and to request assistance in expediting delivery to the vessel. The Master should also be notified of any special handling requirements. This may be done through the Marine Operations Coordinator.

Air and surface shipments being sent to the vessel overseas must comply with U.S. and foreign export/import regulations.

You will also need to have the proper U.S. Customs paperwork to return your equipment to the U.S. Please consult the section on U.S. Customs and Form 4455

Shipping from Foreign Port

Shipments from the vessel in a foreign port should be arranged by the agent through the Master. Experience has shown that this is the most efficient manner in which to operate.

Shipments arranged through the agent are chargeable to the PI. Financial arrangements should be made in advance with the Marine Operations Coordinator. 

Dry Ice - Please arrange for Dry Ice delivery well in advance of the end of your cruise. This can be arranged through the Master, agent or Marine Operations Coordinator.

Agent Information

The Institution contracts an agent in the scheduled port. The agent acts on behalf of the vessel and handles all the requirements that those aboard may have. The agent arranges various things from fueling to food and also handles shipping arrangements for incoming and outgoing freight. When aboard ship, all requests for assistance from the agent should be directed through the Master. Expenses incurred by the agent on behalf of the science party are the responsibility of the science party. 

Be aware agents are usually willing to accomplish any requested task but there will always be a fee associated with that task.

» Agent Information

Shipping Hazardous Goods To and From the Vessel

Shipping of hazardous materials is a difficult business. It requires careful attention from scientists and shipping personnel . Please remember that you are in violation and may subject yourself and your Institution to substantial fines if you offer hazardous materials for shipment without  the required documentation and packaging.  The person offering the Hazardous Material for transport must have the proper training in how to package, label and fill out the associated paperwork.

Regulations published by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMCO) state that certain types of cargo are subject to transport restrictions. These regulations list and define restricted articles, noting which ones may or may not be carried, the quantity allowed, and the packaging and documentation required. The list includes flammables (solid, liquid, or gaseous), corrosives, poisons, radioactive and magnetic material, noxious or irritating substances, and articles possessing inherent qualities that make them unsuitable for carriage without special provisions.

The regulations state what type packing is required and what type vehicle may carry the articles. When hazardous materials are tendered to carriers (air, ground, or ocean), the proper shipping name must be used on the shipping documents; trade names are not acceptable. Hazardous material will not be accepted by carriers unless the shipper has certified that the shipment complies with all applicable regulations and articles are properly marked and labeled.

Failure to notify and document the carrier that hazardous material is in your shipment can result in serious fines to you and your Institution, should an undisclosed or improperly identified hazardous material be found.

The best course of action is to utilize your Institution's Shipping Department for any hazardous material shipments.  They have the training to help you with this shipment.  Given enough notice they can even help you with shipments from the vessel also.  

Last updated: February 12, 2008