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How to arrange a courier shipment

For the majority of our couriering we use RM Couriers, a local courier-handling agency who will then contract our work out to Fed-Ex or other firms. They can handle local, national and international shipments of anything from documents to biological samples, at room temperature or on either wet or dry ice.

You can contact RM by telephone on 01865 712228 or by email at to discuss the details of the parcel you need to send.

When you have an estimated price from RM Couriers, please raise a Requisition using your R12 Shopper access in order to get a Purchase Order for the shipment. Once you have received the PO number from us you can then contact RM Couriers again and finalise the details of your shipment with them, quoting the PO number.

Please note, RM Couriers have been asked not to accept any shipments without first getting a valid PO number from us. Each PO can be used only once, so please do not try to use an old PO number for a new shipment.

Unless you have very specific reasons otherwise then we would recommend that you use RM Couriers for your shipment, but there are a number of other Courier Services available on R12, including Preferred Suppliers Davies International Ltd, DHL International (UK) Ltd and Marken Ltd.

Additional requirements for sending shipments outside of the UK

When arranging to send or receive shipments for anything other than documents outside of the UK you need to make sure you provide all the necessary paperwork. As of the end of the transition agreement, this now includes countries within the European Union.

As well as the relevant courier forms, this means you must also include a “Commercial Invoice” document, which should have the following information:

  • The name, address and contact telephone/email address for the shipper
  • The name, address and contact telephone/email address for the consignee (the person receiving the goods)
  • Incoterms. This should usually be “CPT” or “DDP” (please ask couriers for advice)
  • A detailed description of the goods being shipped, in language understandable to a layperson. This should include the number of items, what they are, and their weight/volume
  • A price/value of the goods being sent. If these are research samples without a commercial value then these should be labelled with “Nominal $1” value.
  • The number and type of packages in the shipment (e.g. cardboard box, polystyrene box, etc.) and their total weight

If you are sending scientific or medical samples, chemicals or related products this should also include the following additional information:

  • Proof of the country of origin
  • At least the first 8 digits of the Customs tariff number (HTS Code). You can find out what this should be using the Trade Tariff Look-up Tool on the website
  • The purpose of use of the goods (e.g. For Analytical Laboratory Testing Only, Non-Human Use, etc.)
  • For Chemicals, please provide the CAS Number. This can be looked up on the Common website
  • For Biological Material, a description of the origin of the material (e.g. human, animal [and what sort of animal] etc.) and a declaration that it is non-infectious and does not contain any pathogenic agents
  • For Biological Material, a USDA declaration

In addition to the above, please ensure that your packages are clearly and accurately addressed on the box as well as with any additional paperwork. This should include a contact person with a telephone number/email address. Shipments to PO Boxes are not possible.

If your shipment is on dry ice, please make sure to use an approved polystyrene box with a cardboard outer sleeve. This must be big enough to display the appropriate dry ice warning labels, with minimum outer dimensions of 100mm x 100mm. Please ensure you pack enough dry ice to allow for any delays with the shipment as it may not be topped up en route.