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How to Ship Lithium Batteries-Need, Method, and Cost

How to Ship Lithium Batteries-Need, Method, and Cost

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There are Millions of consumer electronics using lithium batteries of late.  This number is increasing every day because these batteries are very powerful and light at the same time. Also, they are compact and they tend to last longer than the other counterparts. Due to the increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries, the shipping demand to have skyrocketed.

But lithium batteries are classified as dangerous goods since they pose a threat if not handled or packed safely. So there are some various guidelines set up by airlines and various governments to ensure safety while shipping.

When do you need to ship lithium batteries?

You can ship your lithium batteries anytime as long as you meet the following standards

Prevent short circuits

If you are shipping more than two lithium-ion batteries then you are advised to wrap each in a non-conductive material. The terminals too should be capped with plastics or nonconductive material. Also, make sure that you pack the batteries in a container in such a way that they will not come into contact with each other or any other metal.

Prohibited as cargo

Lithium-ion batteries are only allowed in a passenger plane as cargo. ICAO from the United Nations ruled out lithium-ion batteries as dangerous goods when it comes to international aircraft. This ban remains intact today, lithium-ion batteries cannot be transported as stand-alone on passenger aircraft.

Nonconductive packaging

If you are going to ship multiple batteries, then you will need a linear enclosure for each. However, larger packages will require double construction. You can use materials such as fibreboard, metal, wood, or plastic. Also, the container must be rigid and must pass a drop test. It is carried out to make sure that the package is protected enough for a drop of 1.2 meters.

State of charge

UN3480 allows stand-alone lithium-ion batteries to be shipped with a maximum charge of 30%. However, this may differ depending on different shippers especially for batteries under 100 watt-hours.

Certification

IATA has not specified the certifications one must have to ship lithium-ion batteries. However, they have insisted that the parties involved in packaging should receive IATA training. The training involves proper packaging of the lithium batteries into boxes. Besides, this training must take not less than a 10 minutes demonstration.

The packers should get in-depth training about all the hazardous materials in line with both domestic and international regulations. Some couriers provide you with a document of dangerous goods contract

UN38.3 Certificate is important because it shows that your lithium batteries are following all the regulations and they have also been tested for safety.

Batteries inside devices

When you want to ship lithium-ion batteries then you must ensure the following. First, the batteries should not short circuit even though they are pre-installed on the device. Besides, these devices should be switched off and must not be able to re-activate themselves. The container also should be designed in such a way that both the device and the battery cannot move.

Other means can be applied to prevent the switch from turning itself on. For example, you can use a lock, a cap, or a pack after blocking the switch. Good packaging is one that prevents the devices from turning on hence they prevent overheating

How do you ship lithium batteries?

You can ship lithium batteries using the following methods. That is Ground, by sea or Air. The method that you choose is different from the other one in terms of guidelines and packaging. For example. For air travel, there are pressure guidelines to be observed on containers while those for trucks or trains are very different.

If you have a business and it won't have a shipper on contract then you have to on the cargo transport company. For instance, some may have regulations regarding the shipping of lithium batteries.

Ground

The ground is the best way for those looking to transport a big weight of lithium batteries. The content can also go up to 300 watt-hours as compared to 100-watt hours by air. But you should label the large batteries stating what it is and also state that it can be transported on the ground, not by sea or air.

If you are packaging for ground and it may be carried by air or sea at one point in the journey. Then you need to follow strict guidelines adhering to both methods so that your cargo can be delivered seamlessly.

By Air

Lithium batteries are treated as dangerous goods as far as Air travel is concerned. This is because if the overheat, catch fire, or even explode they might put the plane in n a very tough situation. Some are forced to land on an emergency basis to avoid a possible airplane crash. This why the governing body has set up many regulations to ensure that both the flight and passengers are safe.

UN3481 and UN3091 can still be transported by commercial planes but they must adhere to strict guidelines such as proper packaging. Passengers too are allowed to carry their device on their carryon bags. Please note that different airlines can put different measures regarding the shipping of lithium batteries.

By Sea

Before lithium batteries are allowed on boats, then they must pass through design testing. This is to verify whether they are safe. Also, they must be accompanied by labels indicating lithium and class 9 hazardous material paperwork.

Besides that, the paperwork must contain emergency contacts and the captain notified too. Note that different shipping companies or government may come up with different regulations.

How much does it cost to ship lithium batteries?

The cost of shipping lithium batteries depends on various factors. For instance, do you want to ship by air, sea, or air? How many pounds are you shipping? Are they connected to the device or not? Also from which country to which destination? As you can see, it’s not easy to come up with a price without considering the factors above.

Different companies may charge different prices too. Also, this may include packaging fees and storage. Some couriers are extremely cheap while others are very expensive. So it’s good to investigate at least two or 3 before settling for one.

 

 

 

 

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