As online shopping has become the norm and it seems we can order just about anything online, it is easy to assume that we can ship just about anything as well. But that’s not true. You may have noticed, for example, that the post office and airport security always ask you about lithium batteries. What’s that all about?
Well, first, not all lithium batteries are the same. It’s a family of batteries with different chemistries. Dangerous goods regulations separate this family into two types: lithium metal and lithium-ion.
With a higher power density and lighter weight, lithium-ion batteries are probably powering all of your favorite tech and toys these days.
But you can take your smartphone on the road and on planes, so what’s the issue with shipping lithium batteries?
It isn’t that lithium batteries can’t be shipped, they can. But they are classified as dangerous goods and, as such, face a host of shipping regulations which vary based on location and mode of transport.
In the United States, you can ship lithium batteries domestically via ground or air if properly packed with or contained in equipment and declared. International or commercial transportation of lithium batteries has a different set of rules.
As always, we recommend consulting with your manufacturer and transport vendors before choosing a container or transport method for any materials.For more information on shipping lithium batteries via air, check out our blog on the topic from earlier this year and review a more in depth article from The International Air Transport Association.