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Specimen transport

Samples need to be transported for subsequent processing and testing. Various transport systems can be used, covering long or short distances.

Clinics, practices and laboratories who are posting or transporting samples by air, sea, rail and road between local, regional and reference laboratories, or between laboratories in other countries, must adhere to a number of regulations. These regulations are designed to deal with transportation accidents and spills, reduce biohazards and keep samples intact for testing.

Regulations are given by several sources, including:

  • National transport regulations
  • IATA
  • Rail and road traffic agencies
  • Postal services

Compliance is mandatory in order to reduce risk to couriers, carrier, laboratory staff and passengers.

Sample transport requirements are based on the category of samples being transported. Infectious substances are classified as Category A or Category B.

TDL does not arrange for transport of Category A samples (infectious substances capable of causing permanent disability or life threatening or fatal disease to humans or animals).

Instruction and packaging for Category B is provided, covering Biological Substances, UN number UN 3373.


TDL Collect: Specimen Collection Services by Courier

TDL operates a dedicated and extensive specimen collection service. TDL Collect provides a 24 hour professional sample collection service on an urgent, regular or random basis. No charge is made for collections from practice within the M25. Sample collection from practices outside the M25 is by arrangement and may incur courier charges.

Find out more about TDL Collect


TDL Postal Pathology

Postal Pathology is a particularly suitable method of transport for occupational health, insurance companies and general practice.

Find out more  about TDL Postal Pathology