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Who can ship with M.P.A.?

Two things are needed…first, is an account setup with MPA accounting (if one isn’t setup, shipment must be pre-paid, no exceptions). Second is that if the shipment is to travel from any US port on a passenger aircraft they must be a “known shipper” as required by the federal law.

What information is required to obtain a quote or send freight?

In order to issue a quote or send freight, MPA must first know the following information: Pick-Up location, delivery location, # of pieces, weight, dimensions of packages, and amount of time allowed for transit.

Are there any weight and size limitations for my package?

For the answer to this, click here.

Can I send unprocessed film neg or rawstock on passenger aircraft without it being x-rayed?

There is no absolute yes or no answer to this question. Answers vary with each different airline and even within different ports of the same airline.

“Federal & Airline policy state that commercial considerations will not be allowed to override the safety of the passengers and the aircraft”

Which really means that there is always a chance of x-ray on passenger aircraft where the TSA randomly screen a percentage of the baggage. Most “counter to counter” shipments are handled as baggage within the US.

Some airlines, such as United, have special commodity categories for the shipping of materials that cannot be opened or x-rayed subject to application by the shipper. This then allows the shipment to be handled in a special way and not screened by the TSA.

Other options are to use all-cargo aircraft but they do not operate to all locations in the US and do not operate every day of the week.

MPA’s policy is to first try to find a cargo option which fits the shipping and processing schedule needed by the production.

Alternately, our drivers, who tender the freight are instructed on the correct procedure for tendering to the airline:

  • The airline can look inside the boxes but cannot open the cans.
  • If the airline refuses to allow a shipment to travel without x-ray we will notify production and advise them that this has been requested.
  • Production can then instruct us how we should proceed.

I will be traveling out of the country with my equipment, are there any special documents I will need?

Depending on what is being sent, where it is going and if it will be returning, certain documents will be required such as a commercial invoice or ATA Carnet.

For a list of Carnet countries, click here.

What is a Carnet? Where can it be used? And what are its advantages?

A Carnet is an international customs document commonly known as the "Merchandise Passport.” It facilitates virtually all types of temporary imports into foreign countries who are signatories to the agreement. It's valid for up to one year and can be used for any number of visits in any member countries.

Using a carnet eliminates value-added taxes (VAT), duties, and the posting of security normally required at the time of importation. thus simplifying customs procedures, and reducing costs to the exporter.

This single document acts as U.S. registration, thus facilitating re-entry into the U.S. with the merchandise, and enables duty-free and tax-free entry into as many Carnet member countries as needed for up to one year. No Surprises.

Exporters, freight forwarders or business travelers may purchase a Carnet at a one-time predetermined cost, before the shipment or departure takes place. The only additional cost would be for extra vouchers (if required) for multiple trips.

Can I ship counter to counter internationally?

No, the counter to counter service is only offered on domestic shipments

How much time should I allow to tender and recover my freight?

For domestic cargo shipments you should allow a minimum of 2 hours to tender and 2 hours to recover.

For international cargo shipments you allow a minimum of 4 hours to tender and 4 hours to recover, plus any additional time that may be needed for customs formalities or by the individual carrier.

For counter to counter shipments, please allow an average of 1 hour to tender and 1 hour to recover.

Anywhere means anywhere on the globe. If you need it to get there, we'll get it there. More


I will be traveling out of the country with my equipment, are there any special documents I will need?