The MIT community ships more than 44,000 outbound packages each year. Objects of all shapes and sizes are sent around the globe to faraway collaborators on a daily basis. From textbooks to moon rocks, shipping considerations can range from generic and simple to highly regulated and intricate. And, in this modern era, it is critical to adhere to shipping protocols for safety and transparency.
The shipping initiative seeks to outline a clear and consistent shipping process that will apply not only to typical shipments but also hazardous materials and export-controlled items.
The core team, assembled in September 2014, includes members of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Office of the Vice President for Finance (VPF), and MIT Mail Services. The team is evaluating all facets of shipping, including direct billing, packaging materials, vendor selection, and a web-based tool that will simplify shipping for the MIT community.
By bringing together all of the resources available on campus, the shipping initiative will make it easier for the MIT community to access needed services while also ensuring compliance with domestic and international shipping requirements.
The web-based interface, eShipGlobal, has been selected to simplify the workflow around scheduling and paying for shipments. The software has been specifically designed for university shipping needs. Peer institutions have already implemented eShipGlobal and serve as contacts for best practices.
Additionally, eShipGlobal will provide a central repository for shipping information to be accessed by MIT administrators. The new system will allow users to print shipping labels, track shipments, view historical shipments, and obtain reports right from the tool.
An advisory group from the MIT community will review the system to bring hands-on experience with shipping of Institute packages. Significant effort will be made to ensure that the system aligns with MIT’s processes and practices.
The team also aims to provide MIT shippers with competitive options for shipments through conventional carriers. The proposed system would provide side-by-side comparisons of shipping rates with variables around delivery times and mode of transportation. The community will realize savings through cost comparisons of service delivery options.
Compliance monitoring around shipping has steadily increased in recent years. Enabling students, staff, and faculty to ship safely in compliance with domestic and international laws is the core interest of this initiative.
Habibe Artemiev, Project Manager
Scott Ball, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Susan Bolster, Facilities
Ann Julian, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Ken Le Vie, Information Services and Technology
Jordan Lewis, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Catelin Matos, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Krista McKenzie, Office of the Vice President for Finance
David Quimby, Office of Sponsored Programs
Janet Sparks, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Cecilia Talamantes, Office of the Vice President for Finance
Laurie Veal, Environmental Health and Safety