Dick Meijaard of PMT Cargo Security discusses the options and obstacles of scanning airfreight by X-ray machine, and his plans to launch his company’s own research project into the most effective methods.
When screening airfreight packed in barrels, we face several problems. Firstly, the Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Military Police) no longer allows us to use Explosive Detection Dogs (EDD) to scan this type of packaging. Secondly, it is only during the X-ray scan that we can tell whether the shipment is suitable for X-ray screening. Invariably, each shipment comes without the adequate information that the inspector needs to correctly assess which methods of screening would yield the highest likelihood of detecting contraband.
It is of vital importance to realise there are differences between the types of X-ray machines most used for airfreight screening.
There are two types of X-ray machines that meet the legal requirements: single and dual view. The name refers to the presence of one or two different sources with which respectively one or two photos are taken at a screening. For a single view machine, cargo that is wider than 1.30m must pass through the machine twice and the shipment must be rotated between 60° and 90° the second time compared to the first time (Appendix 6-J of EU-2015 (8005)). That seemshugely cumbersome, but in practice it rarely happens that a shipment is both longer and wider than 1.30m.
Read the full article in the online edition of Cargo Magazine on page 47: