Supplies and shipping support for the JHU Community

Need help with your biospecimen shipment? Look no further! Our team is fully DOT/IATA trained and can provide you with everything you need to ship your samples within the US and abroad.


Shipping Boxes

Need a box? We sell ThermoSafe brand bioshippers for shipping all over the world.

Small, medium, and large sizes are available for purchase via the JHU iLab system.

Contact us today to arrange for a box purchase!

Shipping Advice

Have questions about how to ship your samples? We’re here to help!

Our staff can guide you through all the steps needed to get your shipment delivered safe and sound.

Material Transfer Agreement Help

We work directly with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures and can guide you through the necessary steps of organizing Material Transfer and Licensing Agreements.

Biospecimen Shipment Service


If you already store with us in the Johns Hopkins BioBank, we can organize, pack, and ship your samples for you.

We will handle everything!

Cell Line Distribution

Let us do the work of distributing your cell line to collaborators! We grow, maintain, and distribute your cell line on your behalf.

Dry Ice

Need dry ice for your frozen shipment? We offer self-service dry ice purchasing by the pound.


Johns Hopkins East Baltimore Medical Campus

600 N. Wolfe Street

Blalock Building, Room 1001A

Baltimore, MD 21287 USA


Monday through Friday

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Last FedEx Daily Pickup:

4:00 PM




Technology Transfer

All incoming and outgoing material through Hopkins must have an associated material transfer agreement. Please click on the icon below to complete the electronic questionnaire and a member of the Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures team will be in touch with you.

Material Transfer Agreements for outgoing material

Material Transfer Agreements
for incoming material

Questions? Contact the JHTV Team at:

Estimated Transit Times

These times are estimations based on large metropolitan cities. Please confirm transit times to your specific destination with your carrier.

U.S., Canada, & Mexico

1 – 3 days

FedEx Priority Overnight

Europe (most cities)

2- 3 days

FedEx International Priority

Asia (most cities)

3 – 5 days

FedEx International Priority


3 – 5 days

FedEx International Priority

Guidelines and Policies

The Johns Hopkins BioBank & Cell Center abides by the highest scientific and ethical standards to preserve the public’s trust as well as preserve and protect the specimens when distributing to others. We require that distributed specimens have no Personally Identifiable Information (PII). All shipped specimens should be coded and the link to required PII be supplied independently to the recipient.

All investigators must utilize written agreements to document shipping and sharing of human biospecimens via the JHU Technology Transfer Office. Written agreements for the transfer of biospecimens to commercial laboratories for diagnostic or other routine analysis take different forms and may depend on whether the entity is a for‐profit or private organization.

Packaging and shipping of human biospecimens must conform to all applicable regulations and standards, including the U.S. Department of Transportation and International Air Transport Association standards. All personnel involved in shipping biological materials are fully trained for both air and ground shipments. Currently, our bioshipping services are only offered to our GRCF customers.


Why can’t you ship my samples for me if I’m not a storage customer?

Unless you already store with us in the Johns Hopkins BioBank and we have collected paperwork on the samples, we cannot ship your specimens on our own FedEx account. This is because we become the legal, liable “owner” of the material in the package as the shipper. As a work-around, we ask that all non-storage customers have a FedEx account setup prior to stopping by for shipping help. To register for a FedEx account, please visit

Is training required to ship cryogenically prepared cells?

Yes. Federal and international laws require that anyone who transports, offers advice for transport, or prepares hazardous materials for transport must be trained. Shipping or transporting even a small quantity of hazardous materials regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or the International Civil Aviation Organization as published in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Hazardous materials include infectious substances, dry ice and certain biological substances.

Are all transport companies companies equal in the transportation of hazardous materials?

No. Not all transport companies including airlines are registered to transport hazardous materials. Offering hazardous materials to such a carrier is illegal whether or not the carrier or Transport Company accepts the shipment. Additionally, some carriers and transport companies while registered to transport hazardous materials may do so more restrictively. (i.e., FedEx Ground requires a separate contract to accept hazardous materials for carriage).

What are hazardous materials?

Hazardous materials are substances or materials that the Secretary of Transportation has determined to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported in commerce.

Are there regulations for shipping with dry ice as a coolant?

Yes. Dry ice is considered a hazardous material. Shipping with dry ice is regulated for air and over water shipments. Identification, classification, packaging, marking, labeling and other regulatory requirements including training and certification must be met prior to using dry ice in a shipment.

Can I ship dry ice in just a styrofoam container?

No. Styrofoam containers are not acceptable to meet external packaging requirements of a hazardous materials shipment. The Johns Hopkins BioBank offers hazardous material shipment compliant styrofoam containers enclosed in cardboard boxes for sale.

I don’t have time to ship hazardous materials. Can I just self transport it as checked or hand carry luggage?

No. Federal regulations prohibit transporting hazardous goods by hand onto a flight.

Do I need to do anything special for shipping materials from Johns Hopkins to an outside institution?

Shipments from Johns Hopkins University require the recipient to acquire a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) through JHU’s Tech Transfer office.

What courier does the center use?

We predominately use FedEx for our shipments both within the USA and internationally.

How much dry ice is required to ensure cryogenic preservation of my specimens when shipped to various locations?

The amount of dry ice needed depends on the amount of samples being shipped and the size of the container. We typically use 6lbs of dry ice for domestic shipments, 20lbs of dry ice for shipments to Europe and 60lbs of dry ice for shipments to Asia or Australia.