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Central Distribution

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Shipping and Traffic

We assist the University with outbound domestic and international shipments.

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Central Distribution Services serves as the central receiving point for the University's core campus locations.

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Maps and Directions

Accurate directions to our loading dock area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of freight does CDS not accept?

  • Perishable items
  • Parcel Packages (UPS ground, Fed Ex ground,....)
  • Live Animals
  • Items ordered by outside contractors for work being done at the University. These items are to be delivered by the carrier directly to the contractor.
  • Radioactive materials and controlled substances.
  • Freight labeled “refrigerate immediately,” “freeze upon arrival” or “special handling.”
  • Large loads for a single destination for which unloading and reloading would be impractical (Trucks 28 ft. and above with nine or more skids).
  • “Cash on Delivery” (COD) or “Bill to Receiver” packages.
  • The shipments above will be re-directed by CDS and will be delivered by the carrier to the requesting department.
  • Buildings located outside of core campus radius of Park Ave, University Dr., College Ave., and Atherton St.
  • Straight trucks (15-24 ft.) 

Does Central Distribution provide short-term storage?

Yes, upon receipt of goods, the first two days are at no-charge. After the second day, a monthly storage fee of $32 per skid (4' x 4') will apply for pre-scheduled storage and $50 per skid (4' x 4') for unscheduled storage requests. Please contact Central Distribution to coordinate storage. Other fees may apply.

Can I have non-business related freight shipped to me?

CDS is not responsible for non-business-related shipments for University employees. CDS receives and redelivers shipments relating to University business only. If personal items arrive at CDS, we assume no obligation to report damage claims, claim concealed damage, or report incorrect shipments. Individual(s) will be required to pick up any personal items delivered to CDS.

Is there a fee associated with special services provided?

Yes. Examples are furniture assembly and packaging for outbound freight or freight deliveries above and beyond the standard dock deliveries. The standard rate is $75/hour/per person. Please contact Central Distribution or General Stores to coordinate. Other fees may apply.

What if I am not available at the time the freight is delivered?

We will try and find a responsible individual to sign for the freight. CDS will not deliver/leave freight at the department without a signature.

What if my freight is damaged?

Once freight has been delivered, its contents should be inspected immediately. If the contents are damaged, a department representative should contact CDS within 48 hours of receipt for assistance filing a claim with the carrier. Please save all portions of the shipping container and wrappings. The customer must file damage claims with the carrier (shipper) within 15 days of receipt of the freight. Suppose a problem such as a shortage or overage is discovered after the department opens and examines the contents of a package. In that case, the department should contact Procurement Services to resolve the problem with the vendor. Damage valued at less than $25 cannot be processed.

What if my shipment is sent freight collect?

CDS cannot handle freight collect shipments.

What if my shipment is sent Cash on Delivery?

CDS cannot handle COD shipments.

How do I find out if an item has been received?

Before calling Central Distribution Services to check on the shipment status, please contact the vendor to confirm that the material has been shipped and request a tracking number, name, and phone number of the freight carrier used. If a department needs to inquire about a package not yet received, a representative may contact CDS for information/assistance.
When calling to inquire about freight, please have the following information available. Otherwise, contact Procurement Services for assistance:

  • Purchase order number, if applicable, or credit card information, name, and address of the sender
  • Carrier name (Ward Trucking, ABF, FedEx Freight, etc.)
  • Carrier assigned tracking number
  • Department and recipient at Penn State
  • Building and room number where the freight is to be delivered.
  • Information on who at Penn State may have signed for the package and when it was signed.

Who do I contact with a question or comment?

Please contact the Central Distribution Supervisor at 814-865-8620 or [email protected].

What are the regulations and/or guidelines for shipping hazardous materials?

The Department of Transportation (D.O.T) Federal Regulations do not permit us to ship certain types of hazardous materials. Departments are required to contact the Penn State Department of Environmental Health & Safety at (814) 865-6391 about the shipping of these types of materials and to obtain the necessary paperwork prior to contacting Central Distribution for pickup. Proper paperwork must be attached to the freight before Central Distribution can pick up.

How do I get CDS to pick up and ship out freight?

Departments can schedule freight pick-up with Central Distribution Services by completing and submitting our online Pick-Up and Shipping Request Form. Please fill out the form online and submit it. Also, the department must fill out a Bill Of Lading (BOL) for their shipment. Call the Central Distribution Supervisor 814-865-8620 for help, a walkthrough, or any questions with BOL. CDS will use one of PSU's contracted carriers unless otherwise noted.  Departments should email a copy of BOL to CDS ([email protected]), keep a copy for their records, and attach it to their outbound freight.