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Section 15: Purchasing and Distribution Services

Central Receiving

Effective Date:


Approved By:

Associate Vice President for Financial Affairs

Last Revised On:


For Assistance Contact:

Manager of Distribution Services


To provide an overview and guidance for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) central receiving process.


University of Texas (UT) Systemwide Policy UTS159 requires the primary procurement officer of each institution and System Administration to promulgate procedures to facilitate and expedite the purchasing function.


Table of Contents

A. Overview

The UTSA Central Receiving office is a unit of the Purchasing and Distribution Services department that provides receiving and delivery services for all goods ordered by the UTSA teaching, research, administrative, and project offices (items of a personal nature are not to be sent to Central Receiving).

Services provided include:
  • Receiving most items delivered by vendors and transportation companies
  • Performing inspection to determine quantity delivered
  • Delivery to requesting departments
  • Creating Receiving Report
  • Picking up and arranging for return shipment if required
  • Expediting receipt of goods

B. Receipt of Shipments

When shipments are received, a receiving report is generally created. The report is created by Central Receiving or the user department depending on the delivery location. For purchase over $5,000 and specific commodity purchases $5,000 and under, a receiving report must be issued in order to pay for shipments received under a purchase order (PO), as it serves as verification that the goods were received as ordered.

NOTE: Receiving reports are not required for Procard purchases, regardless of whether the delivery is made directly to the user department or through Central Receiving.

Shipments Delivered to Central Receiving
Upon receiving a shipment, when required Central Receiving creates a receiving report (except for Procard purchases) and delivers the shipment to the user department within two business days of receipt unless the items require special handling. Large items may be delivered by Facilities Services (at no charge to the user department).

The department must verify the order upon receipt from Central Receiving and notify Central Receiving immediately of any discrepancies (damaged merchandise, overages, double shipments, incomplete shipments, etc.) Failure to notify Central Receiving promptly may delay payment to vendors and result in interest charges to the department.

If Central Receiving receives a shipment with no information associating the shipment with a PO, Central Receiving will generally assume that the delivery is based on a Procard order, and will not issue a receiving report without departmental notification. If the shipment is related to a PO, the department must promptly notify Central Receiving and request a receiving report. The request must include:

  • PO number,
  • date received,
  • what was received (complete or partial delivery), and
  • name of the individual who received the shipment.

Because the requested receiving report serves as documentation for payment to the vendor, a department's failure to promptly send this request to Central Receiving may delay payment to the vendor and result in interest being charged to the department.

Shipments with "collect charges" are not accepted unless Central Receiving is notified and arrangements are made for payment at time of delivery.

Shipments Delivered Directly to User Department
When shipments are received directly by the user department ("department"), the department must verify the accuracy of the delivery. If the delivery is accurate, when required the department creates a receiving report in Rowdy Exchange unless the shipment is a Procard purchase. For more information see the Rowdy Exchange Training Website.

Because the receiving report serves as documentation for payment to the vendor for non-Procard purchases, a department's failure to promptly create the report may delay payment to the vendor and result in interest being charged to the department.

If a department believes payment should be withheld based on an incorrect delivery or invoice, the department should not issue a receiving report. In this case the department should submit a Vendor Dispute Form to Disbursements and Travel Services.

Departments should attempt to have all Procard purchases delivered directly to the department. For detailed instructions on completing Procard purchases see UTSA Financial Management Operational Guideline (FMOG) – Procard Program.

C. Returns

If a return is necessary, departments must notify Central Receiving immediately and return the merchandise to Central Receiving in its original packaging.

D. Priority of Deliveries

Deliveries are processed by Central Receiving on a first-in, first-out basis unless special handling is required. Examples of items requiring special handing include but are not limited to:

  • Air and overnight shipments
  • Materials on dry ice or frozen
  • Live materials
  • Blood and blood platelets
  • Packages labeled "refrigerate immediately," "freeze upon arrival" or that include other special handling instructions
  • Radioactive materials
  • Controlled substances

Books and other items addressed to individuals are sorted and scanned for tracking purposes and delivered the next business day. Federal Express, Airborne, Next Day Air, etc. are delivered the same day.

E. Outbound Shipments

Central Receiving will arrange for outbound shipments as requested. Departments must call Central Receiving when an item needs to be shipped. The department must package and label the item and provide Central Receiving with a description of contents, value, and method of shipping.

Approved methods of payment are:
  • Department Cost Center
  • Call tags (vendor furnished)
  • Freight collect (freight lines only)

Departments are reminded that a return authorization number only authorizes the return of an item, and does not necessarily indicate payment of freight charges.

Small items to be shipped can be picked up by Central Receiving, but arrangements must be made for Facilities Services to pick up large items for delivery to Central Receiving.


None at this time.


  1. UT Systemwide Policy UTS159 - Purchasing
  2. FMOG – Procard Program
  3. Central Receiving FAQs
  4. Links to Third Party Carriers


  1. Vendor Dispute Form


Date Description
09/12/17 Revisions to process changes impacted by Rowdy Exchange implementation
07/25/17 New guideline published.

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Operational Guidelines