Shipping Samples

Please follow our guidelines to ship your samples ahead of your allocated visit, whether you will be on-site or remote.

To cope with the increasing influx of dewars, we have implemented an efficient solution to ship, track and manage each dewar via a printed labels solution.

  • Labels for each shipment are easily generated through ISPyB, our data management system and must be affixed to the dewar shipping cases.
  • Dewar identification labels must be affixed to your dewar for specific identification of your dewar when shipping and requesting it's return or storage.
  • Book your shipping to Diamond with your courier. UK and EU based academic users can ship with our shipping agent DHL.
  • Request your dewar return with Diamond DHL (for UK and EU based academic users) or your own courier - see below for details.

We are therefore urging our users to take advantage of this system as it streamlines the whole dewar management process and provide a status update to the user.

To Diamond

  • Create a new shipment through ISPyB. Please refer to our ISPyB section to learn how to do this.
  • Print the barcoded ISPyB labels. Stick Label 1 onto your shipping box and Label 2 onto the side of your IATA approved dry shipping dewar. Do not forget to include Label 3 within your dry shipper box.
  • Create an Airway Bill in ISPyB if you are an UK or EU based academic or with your chosen courier company if you prefer to use your own.
  • Dewars must be recieved by 16:00 the working day before your visit. 
  • Dewars can only be received by our stores during normal weekday working hours. Please check for UK Bank Holidays where stores will also be closed.
  • Late shipments will be considered as a beamtime cancellation.
  • You must always check with a competent person from your institution/courier that you have packaged and labelled your samples safely and in compliance with relevant transportation Regulations before shipment to Diamond.

Suggested latest day for dewar shipping*:

Beamtime Latest Arrival at Diamond Ship by*
Monday Friday 4pm (previous week) Wednesday (previous week)
Tuesday Monday 4pm  Thursday (previous week)
Wednesday Tuesday 4pm Friday (previous week)
Thursday Wednesday 4pm Monday
Friday Thursday 4pm Tuesday
Saturday Friday 4pm  Wednesday
Sunday Friday 4pm  Wednesday


*Suggested shipping days are for guidance only for UK shipment and not guaranteed by DLS - it is your responsibility to ship early enough - when dewars are delivered late for an experiment we will try to accommodate but this is not always feasible and will always by agreement with your local contact. For international shipment please allow more time, shipment can be delayed at the customs. Please note the particular requirements of dewar delivery for short visits here but these are generally good advice for all other visit types too.

Important Notice

If you are not using ISPyB (not recommended), your shipment must include the following information: user name, user institution, contact telephone number, email address, PI name, proposal number, visit number, beamline and local contact.

Please ship your samples marked with which beamline it is intended for and also for the attention of the EHCs: The Experimental Hall Co-ordinators, Diamond Light Source Limited, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0DE.

Record the Diamond Dewar ID which is attached to your dewar.

Care must be taken when you are providing a description of the shipment to your courier company. In a few cases, contents have been deemed as dangerous by the courier company and refused. The following description may be appropriate:

1 x dry-shipper containing frozen crystals for experiments at Diamond Light Source. Not dangerous. Not restricted, as per IATA special provision A152.


From Diamond

  • Strip off any label present on your dry shipper and stick the ISPyB return label to its side
  • Follow the instructions for shipping your dewar home


Important Notice

Are you planning a remote visit? Please do not forget to include the return label with your shipment, as our staff will stick the label on on your behalf.

Internal transfer at Diamond

After your experiment if you wish to keep your dewar(s) at Diamond for your next visit please fill out the internal transfer form at Diamond. Your dewar(s) wil be stored properly and topped up regularly with liquid nitrogen until your next visit.

  • Use your Diamond dewar ID and
  • Get the proposal, visit number and the beamline for your next visit (e.g. MX12345-12, on I03)
  • Fill out the internal transfer form
  • Inform your local contact that your dewar(s) is ready to be transfered

Diamond Light Source

Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

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