February 12th 2020

How to Ship Lithium Batteries? (By Sea/Sea Freight, by Air, by Road)

How to Ship Lithium Batteries? (By Sea/Sea Freight, by Air, by Road)

Much like gasoline, propane, and sulfuric acid, lithium-ion batteries are equally dangerous to ship. There are a lot of unresolved airplanes incidents that possibly were caused due to lithium batteries being transported. Although, during the manufacturing process, lithium-ion batteries are put through rigorous testing. There are several factors to consider while shipping lithium batteries by sea or by air . You can't just have them packed away in a box to be shipped.

Risks of shipping lithium batteries

As a sender of lithium battery, one of the listed dangerous goods, you are responsible for safe shipment. Finding the right way of shipping lithium batteries by sea and air can be a complicated one as they are extremely sensitive to damage. One of the key risks pertaining to shipping lithium batteries is that, if the battery starts leaking, toxic gases could escape or may even lead to an explosion of the product. An ignited battery in such an instance could be the reason for an air or sea accident. Safety measures have to be taken to prevent any short-circuits or activation of lithium batteries while being transported. For every different type of lithium battery, the labeling, shipping, packaging and documentation requirement may vary. But the fact of the matter will remain that all lithium batteries, regardless of the capacity are considered to be a dangerous good.

Shipping regulations of lithium batteries

As per the UN recommendations, lithium batteries are qualified as dangerous goods due to the potential fire hazard it may cause. They must be correctly packaged and identified as per the rules and regulations for shipping. Whether they are to be shipped individually or along with the product, they must be labeled with the existing Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods hazard label or the new Class 9 Lithium Battery hazard label. They must be packaged in non-conductive inner packaging.

Packaging regulations for air freight

Here are some of the key packaging regulations that you must keep in mind while using air freight for the shipment of your batteries. Firstly, note that lithium-ion batteries not in equipment must be transported in a state of charge (SoC) at or below 30% of their rated design capacity. It must have the necessary approval of the State of Origin and the State of the Operator too. If the lithium batteries transported are of different capacities, ensure to keep them seperate. As per the strict instructions from IATA , you must follow the packing instructions 965 complying to labeling requirements, that has 'Lithium-ion batteries in compliance with Section II of PI965'.

As a consignor, you must ensure that the batteries are labeled with all the mandatory information including the UN number, net weight, transport category, the shipper and consignee’s address.

Packaging regulations for road and sea freight

There's a weight restriction of 333 kilograms per transport unit applies for road freight. And as mentioned above, lithium batteries must comply with the right labeling requirements. Apart from all the rules and regulations, it's imperative to have a declaration/shipping paper to accompany the packages.

EZ-Ship makes shipping lithium batteries an easy task with their detailed visual shipping guide . Contact us for more guidance a help on shipping dangerous goods efficiently.