GOOD NEWS FROM FEDERAL EXPRESS
Here is an e-mail that I received from Bulletin Subscriber Steve Freno of
Being a FedEx Senior Manager and a Photographer, I've been barraged
with questions recently about shipping film....
Here is the best answer that I can give at this point.......
FedEx DOES NOT routinely X-Ray anything. There are some
locations that have Government Agencies (DEA, USDA, Department
Agriculture, Customs, etc) on site, or that occasionally come on
site, that may, on occasion X-ray (or even open) packages that
meet a certain profile or are deemed suspicious.
Some of these agencies routinely bring 'drug-sniffing' dogs to
run up and down our sort belts. In Anchorage, I have seen
Agriculture even bring in a 'food-sniffing' dog to look
for illegally imported foodstuffs from Asia. Also here in
Anchorage, US Customs will often set up an X-ray machine and
X-ray all US Export freight (packages picked up in Alaska, going
One thing that I can tell you with complete confidence is
that nowhere in our system do we have any of the powerful
CTX-5000 X-ray machines that we have all heard about. The X-ray
machines that are used are usually an older "retired"
model from an old security./screening entrance. These emit very
low levels of X-rays and (as far as I know) cannot damage film.
So at this point, there really is nothing to worry about. I have
shipped my film via FedEx and have never, ever heard of any problem
encountered by a photographer....(except of course for the
occasional missorted, or "misplaced" package....but we
still are light-years ahead of the Post Office and UPS in
.......Since Sept 11th though, there are rumors flowing through
industry of changes in all of this......we have heard that
the FAA may be asking cargo carriers to X-ray all shipments that
will be traveling via air. This would have the potential
of virtually shutting down both FedEx and UPS's sorting
operations and change or almost eliminate guaranteed overnight
delivery services. These are just rumors and if something like
that were initiated, there would be lots of advance notice......
Bottom line -----at this point, it is 100% perfectly safe to
film with FedEx (unless you are packing your box with dope
(narcotics), your package should never fall under
suspicion. The official line of the matter is that "all
packages are subject to inspection", so writing on the box
"FILM; PLEASE DO NOT X-RAY. OK TO OPEN FOR INSPECTION--PLEASE
CAREFULLY" is a great idea and I believe I will start doing
that....just in case.....
Let me know if you've got any other questions.......as always,