View Full Version : UPS x-rayed my film :(

Enrico Faini
31-Dec-2006, 10:31
I bought some HP5+ film from RobertWhite which was shipped via UPS (1Z 8W2 047 66 4079 742 0)
When tracking the shipment on their website I discovered that they had x-rayed my package.

:( :( :(

I haven't yet had a chanche to test the film
Does anybody know what kind of equipment ups uses to scan their packages and wether it is safe for high speed film? (their callcenter was useless)

Has anybody had their film x-rayed by ups? Was there just an increase in the filmbase+fog densities? Or did the film suffer more substantial damage?

Does UPS regularly x-ray its packages? Is there a way to ship our film without risking to have it damaged by x-ray inspections?

31-Dec-2006, 10:50
I've never run into this. You might want to check with Robert White and see what their response is. I can't say how things are done in Europe, but here most couriers don't x-ray packages. Personally, I would ship with FedEx rather than UPS, if possible, simply because they don't x-ray.

tim atherton
31-Dec-2006, 11:08
Both Fedex and UPS X-Ray packages. To and from some countries they X-ray many more or all than from others. This isn't even customs, but the couriers themselves.

They also X-ray to/from and within the US - but the latter to a lesser degree.

Both companies used to provide their own "Do Not X-Ray" stickers - not sure if they still do, or if they ever had any effect.

This all from talking to both companies over the last few years. If they feel there is a need to X-Ray packages, they will do so. Doesn't matter where (US or abroad)

(At least it's nice to know it shows up on their tracking now - it used to be you had no way of knowing).

Jorge Gasteazoro
31-Dec-2006, 11:27
If there was any indication in the box that this was film and/or it was written on the shipping lable that it was film, UPS will refund your money but RW has to make the claim. In the future ask RW to put on the autside of the box a label or legend that says "caution , unexposed film please do not open interior boxes or x ray" and UPS will inspect the package by hand at US customs.

Fedex on the other hand will not pay attention to this and will open not only the packaging box but the film boxes when they arrive at customs. They have done this to me when leaving the US, why? I have no idea!

Also, as soon as you get your tracking number, call the UPS 800 number and tell them this is film you are expecting and want to make sure it is not opened or x rayed. It took me 5 tries and about $1500 (which UPS refunded) to train them, but I finally fopund a way to have them not ruin the film.

31-Dec-2006, 11:29
Yikes... but if UPS uses the same type of X-ray machine that our corporate mailroom uses, the film should be fine unless it is super-high-speed. Our mailroom x-rays parcels and "suspicious" mail with the same kind of (Rapiscan) machines used at the airport carry-on baggage portals.

31-Dec-2006, 12:51
Both FedEx and UPS state that they don't routinely x-ray packages, but do have the capability. If you are concerned however, mark your packages with something like: "DO NOT X-RAY. IF X-RAY IS MANDATORY, DO NOT SHIP / DO NOT X-RAY / CONTACT SENDER URGENTLY: (details)". Of course, this doesn't help if Robert White didn't mark the package properly.


You might find this article interesting: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6059742.stm


"Under a system called "known shipper" or "known consignor" companies which have been security vetted by government appointed agents can send parcels by air, which do not have to be subjected to any further security checks.

Unless a package from a known shipper arouses suspicion or is subject to a random search it is taken on trust that its contents are safe.


"The only additional checks will be if they are not from a known consignor where they will go through an X-ray or a physical check," he said.


"Not only does FedEx comply with all country-specific aviation security and anti-terrorist regulations in both the UK and the US, but our security processes and procedures meet and often exceed regulatory requirements as well.

"The FedEx security systems consist of multiple layers of interlocking procedures and processes and contain a number of redundancies that comprise an excellent security system. We do not, however, discuss specific measures for obvious reasons."

tim atherton
31-Dec-2006, 15:56
Both FedEx and UPS state that they don't routinely x-ray packages

exactly, but it depends in part on their definition of routine - at one end, anything out of Baghdad or Kandahar is going to be x-rayed.

Within the US it depends very much on current security levels, originator/destination, intelligence passed on from the authorities and so on. There is a good chance it may well not be x-rayed. But as the Fedex security chief put it, "if we feel we need to x-ray a package, then we will" within the US.

If you happen to ship when the security level has been increased above "routine" levels, or there is a threat that hasn't been made public, or you sahre a zip code with a sensitive location.... (Mr Galli??) all bets are off.

Kirk Gittings
31-Dec-2006, 18:17
In my trip to England this year I took, bought in london, and shipped Acros in every conceivable manner from Denver to Heathrow. The worst got xrayed both ways from and too England. I then shot duplicate negatives of numerous scenes and had Praus develope samples of each in the same batch, tube processed. Densitometer readings showed 0 difference between any of the film regardless of having no xray or double airport xray.

31-Dec-2006, 20:33
Both FedEx and UPS state that they don't routinely x-ray packages

exactly, but it depends in part on their definition of routine - at one end, anything out of Baghdad or Kandahar is going to be x-rayed.

That is the one thing that no one has any control over.

FWIW, most of the posts on this topic have lost sight of what the problem was; that is shipping between England and Italy. That is way out of my experience, I can only speak about my experiences with domestic US shipping.

Enrico Faini
1-Jan-2007, 12:00
I've never run into this. You might want to check with Robert White and see what their response is.
closed for holydays ;)
Although I'm sure they'll reply as soon as they reopen

adrian tyler
1-Jan-2007, 13:09
don't worry it'll be fine, this has happened to me twice, once fed-ex and once ups, i now label all x-ray sensitive shipments and i ask rw to label my shipments with film.

but DON'T WORRY, it's ok, test a sheet but don't waste a box.


1-Jan-2007, 14:33
i just got back from france, and shot oodles of 400 asa film and i was kind of nervous when i found a fuji color 800 speed film in my bag. i went boston-london-basel and my stuff was xrayed like mad - both ways. i asked the folks at the airport to hand inspect every chance i got, but they xrayed it anyways. ( oh well ) i got the film back from the lab and it was fine - no banding, no problems.

maybe you should process one sheet by itself, and if there is a problem try to get replacement film, but i have a feeling it won' t really be a problem ...

adrian tyler
2-Jan-2007, 01:57
heres the label i use