When Tendering ANY shipment at the airport there are a number of things that are required by the TSA and the FAA.  These are fine-able offenses.


There are different kinds of shippers.  I’ve listed them by shipping volume.

Known Shippers (Direct)

Usually just referred to as a known shipper.  However there are known shippers for Indirect Air Carriers so I use the term Direct to distinguish them.  This category is for companies that have a relationship directly with the airline.  They have their own account number and ship from consistent known locations.  Current Examples are:  LabCorp, PAML, Providence, Pathology Inc and Ascend.  They have been through a process to become “known” by the airline in that they have been audited by an individual certified by the TSA to make sure they really are behaving as expected.

Here is an example of the box labeling requirement for PAML (A direct, known shipper).

1)  Address Labels are mandatory.  You can hand write but you must have a From and To.  When in doubt you can use call the client.

2)  The proper category is mandatory.  This is usually always UN3373 which is for diagnostic specimens and it is a diamond label

3)  IF there is Dry Ice then the shipment is classified as a “dangerous goods” shipment.

4)  IF there is Dry Ice then you MUST fill out the dry ice label COMPLETELY.  This includes the WEIGHT of the dry ice in Kilograms.  5 lbs is the max we can ship out of MFR and is equal to 2.2 kg.


5)  The billing account number being used at the airline is for the CLIENT (PAML in this case) – they are the consignee (company receiving) and are the company we contact after we tender with the AWB.

Indirect Air Carriers

Companies known as Indirect Air Carriers (IAC) are acting as an air carrier themselves.  They are a transportation company and are an INDIRECT Air Carrier because they are using somebody else’s plane.  The shipments are under their account but the customer (the shipper) is paying them to fly the item.  The shipper has no relationship with the airline but is a known shipper to the IAC who is certifying the security of the shipment.  You may not tender, handle or come in contact with a shipment for an IAC unless you have been through the STA or SIDA program.  This is the form you filled out when started at Dash that asked for your residential history.  You then took the safety test which teaches how to look for security issues.  From this point forward you will take the test again every spring annually and fill out the background check form every 5 years.

Mandatory items on all IAC shipments:

1)  You must have an STA for yourself personally (you get a number on file at Dash)

2)  You must bring the IAC certification statement and give it to the airline

3)  You must verify that the box is as expected and neither it nor the circumstances of pickup were suspicious in any way.

4)  The box / bag should be properly labeled by the known shipper but it is your job to confirm that the labeling is correct.  If you’re not sure what labels it should have, ask the IAC.

5)  You must communicate everything with the IAC.


Unknown Shippers

These shippers are EXTREMELY rare.  We get less than one a year.  They usually are in some way associated with Fed Ex Same Day and are almost always documents.  These will never be presented to you as a direct known shipper because the airlines would have to have given them an account.  IACs will occasionally have these customers and it is their responsibility to make you aware of the situation.

When you are alerted that a shipment is from an unknown shipper you MUST:

1)  know who to contact at the pickup location (actual person)

2)  check this person’s ID and confirm that they are who they say they are

3)  fill out an ID check form (available at the office) and sign that you did check their ID

4)  Examine the shipment to confirm that it is what they say it is.  Generally these are documents, passports or sometimes small media devices.

5)  From that point you treat it as an  IAC known shipper except that at the airport you declare it as UNKNOWN Shipper and check the appropriate boxes.