To begin - please review the following websites, which address the Argonne and DOT rules for shipping samples, chemicals, and reagents:

It is highly recommended that you consult with your institution’s shipping coordinator (if you have one) regarding the legal ways to ship samples, buffers, chemicals, and specimens to BioCAT. You may also consult with Argonne’s Shipping Department for advice regarding your shipment.

Shipping is a highly regulated activity by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), which may also involve other government agencies for approvals and permits to ship certain plant, animal, and human specimens, as well as, any viruses, fungi, bacteria, etc… Additionally, the type of packaging needs to be coordinated with the hazards associated with your shipment. Not following Department of Transportation rules and regulations can result in very large fines (10’s of thousands of dollars a day/per offense).

Small quantities of chemicals found in buffers are usually okay to ship via FedEx due to the DOT small quantity exemption rule depending on hazard class and quantity. Please refer to your MSDS and institutional shipping experts. Bulk chemicals, however, have to be sent through the Argonne Shipping Department. In order to send items through the Argonne Shipping Department, you would need to create an Argonne Account with sufficient funds to cover shipping and any ancillary expenses so that the Argonne Shipping Department can bill your account.

If your experiment will require bulk chemicals/ reagents, we recommend that you order them and have them shipped directly to BioCAT from the vendor (ie, Sigma, Fisher). It is often less expensive and time consuming to leave bulk/stock chemicals with us at BioCAT, so that you can access them again when you come back to BioCAT for future experiments.

BioCAT, however, does not supply freezer or refrigerator space for the long-term storage of samples. Refrigerators and freezers are routinely purged of all User samples. Therefore, if you would like to keep your samples you should prepare them for shipment back to your home institution at the conclusion of your experiment.


Please plan the arrival of your samples/ materials needed for your experiment at BioCAT carefully. You should send your samples such that they arrive a day or two before the start day of your experiment - on a business week day! If your samples are due to arrive at BioCAT on a weekend day - it is difficult and sometimes not possible to receive the packages at BioCAT due to the reduction of staff and lack of deliveries at Argonne on the weekend.

If you would like to ship materials to BioCAT, our shipping address is:

BioCAT - Argonne National Laboratory
APS/ Sector 18/ 435B
9700 S. Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439-4860

The preferred method of shipping at Argonne is FedEx.

From BioCAT

BioCAT does not have a budget for shipping users’ samples and chemicals to or from your home institution(s). It is highly recommended that you prepare your own items for shipping back to your home institution upon completion of your experiment. The preferred method of shipping at Argonne is FedEx. Please make note of your FedEx account number before coming to BioCAT.

If you would like to ship materials to your home institution, you must:

  • Declare any chemicals, solvents, air cans, etc. which are packed in the container
  • Compile a list of these chemicals and amounts with paper copies of the corresponding MSDS sheets
  • Include your FedEx Number
  • Plan ahead for a complete inspection of package contents