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How to Use the Desktop Shipping Center

Learn how to send documents and small packages using the UCSD Desktop Shipping Center application.

Note: For international shipments of documents see additional requirements detailed in steps 5 and 9 on this page. Training is available at your work location upon request. Shippers of international packages or letters containing technical documents need to contact UCSD Shipping and the Campus Export Controls Officer.


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1. Set up a user account.

  1. Get permission from your supervisor to acquire a user ID, and ask him or her to recommend and approve the type of access you need: regular (only see your own shipments) or power user (can see all department shipments).
  2. If you need to ship biological or hazardous materials contact Shipping, (858) 534-5737.
  3. Complete and send the Desktop Shipping Center Access Request (PDF) to the Desktop Shipping Center administrator in one of these ways:
    • E-mail to mailservices@ucsd.edu and send it electronically.
    • Click Print Form, and send the hard copy to Mail Code 0047.
  4. You will receive an e-mail with account setup instructions and your username and password. Your password will be the same as your username.
  5. To protect your account, log in and click Change My Password.

2. Log in.

  1. Turn off your browser's pop-up blocker, or make sure to add https://ship.ucsd.edu to your browser's trusted sites to allow pop-up windows from Desktop Shipping Center.
  2. Go to the UCSD Desktop Shipping Center and enter your username and password.

3. Complete Sender section.

  1. Once logged in, click Ship on the menu bar at the top of the home page.

    Menu bar screenshot

  2. To open a section on the Ship page, click the gray plus sign to reveal its fields. (The gray plus sign will become a red minus sign)
  3. Verify information in Sender section. A valid index number is required.
  4. Ship screenshot

4. Complete Recipient section.

  • There are 2 ways to complete this section:
    1. Click the Recipients button to select a recipient from a past shipments.
    2. Complete the recipient form.
  • Be sure to select the correct Address Type: Commercial or Residential. Your choice will impact rate quote accuracy.

    Ship screenshot

5. International Shipments

  1. Shippers of international letters with technical documents and packages with other than non-technical documents should contact UCSD Shipping and the Campus Export Controls Officer.
  2. When printing the shipping label, please be sure to check the box next to "print commercial invoice".
  3. After clicking the print button, be sure to print one copy of the consignee document, 2 copies of the shipping label, and 3 copies of the commercial invoice.
  4. Sign each copy of the commercial invoice and put it and the consignee document behind the copies of the shipping label.

6. Complete the remaining sections.

  1. Under Delivery Options, select your preferred shipping carrier and service. You can also leave the default, No Preference, to skip to the Rate Shop by clicking on Shop at the bottom of the page.
  2. Under Packaging, fill in "Package Type" and "Weight" fields to ensure rate accuracy.
  3. Under Payment Options:
    Choose Prepaid by Shipper if you want your package charged to your index.

    Choose Collect if the recipient is paying shipping charges. For collect shipments, you only need to add the carrier account number.

    Choose 3rd Party if some party other than sender nor receiver is paying. The system requires billing name, address and phone information as well as account number for 3rd Party shipments.

    Please note: an index is required for each shipment.  Your index is only charged in the event the recipient or 3rd Party refuses to pay for the shipment and the carrier bills it back to us.
  4. Under Special Services, the fields are optional.

7. Search rates or finalize shipment.

  • If you've chosen your carrier and shipping method, click Next at the bottom of the page to finalize your choices, and skip to step 8.
  • If you have not chosen your carrier, click Shop at the bottom of the page to compare rates and delivery times.

8. Compare and select rates.

  1. The rate chooser defaults to the least expensive option. Click More to view additional options.
  2. Review rates in the pop-up window, and click Select to make your choice.
  3. Once you've selected your rate, click Next to go to the Review section, or Back to return to the Ship screen.

    Rates screenshot

9. Review and finalize shipment.

  1. Check your information in the Review section for accuracy.
    • To make changes, click Edit.
    • To cancel the shipment, click Cancel.
  2. If all information is correct, click Print Label to complete processing and print shipping label. Do not click Print Ship Request, unless you plan to have your package go through Mail Services for additional processing.
  3. If you are shipping internationally, be sure to print both labels that pop up; the 2nd label is in a window directly behind the first label. If you are shipping something other than documents to an international destination, be sure to click the check box for commercial invoice and print 3 copies.
  4. Insert printed label and any other required documents to your package in pouch if you are using a clear pouch or in the package window for letter envelopes.
    • Make sure bar code information is visible for carrier to scan.

10. Mail shipment.

There are several ways to mail your package:

  • Schedule a Messenger Service pickup.
  • Call a commercial carrier (FedEx or UPS) for pickup.
  • Place package in a commercial carrier drop box.
  • Take package to Mail Services or any one of the specific carrier’s storefront locations.
  • Place it in your department's outgoing mail for Mail Services for pickup*.

*Packages must fit in outgoing mail bin. Large, bulky or multiple packages shipments cannot ordinarily be accommodated during regular outgoing mail pickup.

Note:  The online Desktop Shipping process described above is the preferred shipping method. However, the following current alternatives are also available:






Express Mail




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