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A Guide to Shipping Your Slides Safely and On Time

Your organization’s ability to obtain accurate research results often hinges upon the swift and safe delivery of histopathology test materials.

Regardless of whether you represent a drug discovery firm, a clinic, a biotechnology company, or an academic institution, you cannot generate accurate research results without intact, unaltered test materials. Below is a step by step process to properly ship your slides.

The Critical Role of Labeling and Packaging

The successful delivery of test results depends in great part upon the steps taken to prepare the materials for shipment.  As the majority of histopathology-related shipments include slides, it is critical to ensure that slides are packaged for shipping according to the following steps: 

1) Ensure that all slides are clearly labeled with all relevant information.

2) Position the slide firmly in the slide carrier.

3) Use a piece of tape to secure the lid of the container.

4) Put the sealed slide(s) inside a padded envelope or box.

5) For added security, wrap the container with bubble wrap before placing it in the envelope or box.

6) Secure the envelope or box with tape.

7) If a large collection of envelopes is being shipped, use a sturdy carton or crate to house the envelopes.

8) Ensure that any documentation required by the shipper is easily accessible.

9) If applicable, send tracking information to the customer as soon as possible.

10) Any delays or damaged materials should be reported to the carrier immediately.

Choosing the Best Mode of Shipping 

Experienced CROs know that you should never be dependent upon only one mode of shipping. You should carefully consider the plethora of shipping options available and choose the mode of transportation that best meets the needs and preferences of the customer. Below are some popular modes of shipping test materials and the situations in which they are often utilized:  

  • In-house driver/courier: Ideal for urgent situations in which a customer is located near the testing facility
  • Commercial air shipping: Often used when shipping large collections of slides to customers across the country
  • Rail shipping: An inexpensive domestic shipping mode that is rarely used due to slow delivery times
  • Ship / sea freight: The most inexpensive mode of international shipping but rarely utilized due to lengthy transit times
  • Multi-modal shipping: This strategy involves the use of more than one shipping carrier

Other possible shipping modes include delivery by private car, taxi, and public transportation. These are not chosen with great frequency but are sometimes used at night, during holidays, and when emergencies arise.  

Special Shipping Considerations 

In addition to following standard procedures for safe packaging and transport, experienced outsourcing companies recognize that there are often special factors to consider. These factors may affect the overall packaging and shipping strategy selected and include the following: 

  • Are there any special time constraints to meet?
  • Do the contents need to be refrigerated?
  • Are the materials shipping outside the country?

If any of the above situations arises, you will need to modify your standard shipping methodology. For instance, international shipments will require a commercial invoice and other special export documents. Additional packaging is often recommended to provided added protection to materials shipping internationally. Finally, not all shipping providers offer expedited delivery and additional costs may apply. 

Selecting a CRO with a Focus on Safe Shipping 

Your safe receipt of histology study materials is dependent upon the level of expertise of the CRO that you choose. With a growing number of CROs who provide histology-related services, it is critical to choose a provider who understands the importance of safely shipping your study materials. 

Please contact us to learn about our commitment to ensuring that you receive your test materials safely, swiftly, and securely. Your organization can depend upon our team of professionals to make sure that your study materials are properly packaged and intact upon delivery. We look forward to working with your organization! 


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