International Shipping

How to Get Away with Shipping Lithium Batteries Globally

Gayatri Bhaumik

by Gayatri Bhaumik

On 2020 M02 18

by Gayatri Bhaumik

These days, many products are powered by batteries. And, naturally, many of these products are being shipped around the world. The problem here is that these batteries can be dangerous and pose safety risks if they’re not properly packed and shipped. This article will show you how to go about shipping lithium batteries without putting anyone at risk.

Products with Lithium Batteries

Which Products Have Lithium Batteries?

You may not realize it, but many of the products and devices you use every day have batteries that contain lithium. And, with people turning to online retail, these products are being shipped around the world. That’s why it's so important that these products and batteries are mailed carefully. Some consumer products that use these types of batteries include:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Mobile phones
  • iPhones
  • iPads
  • Medical devices
  • Power tools
  • Measuring equipment
  • Drones
  • Automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

These devices all contain batteries that are classified as dangerous goods and there are good reasons for this. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to that your shipments comply with lithium battery shipping regulations:

  • They’re highly flammable and can cause fires if wrongly packaged
  • They react sensitively to environmental factors
  • There’s a higher chance of their short-circuiting

With all this in mind, it’s crucial that retailers - and their chosen courier services - take the time to ensure that during shipping, these lithium batteries are correctly declared, packed, labeled, and stored appropriately.

The Truth About Mailing Batteries

If you’ve ever wondered, “can you mail batteries?” then you’ll be pleased to know that the short answer is yes. But, it’s a little more complicated than putting your battery in an envelope and mailing it off. To reduce the chances of your lithium batteries exploding or being damaged while in transit, you should use a reputable courier that has guidelines in place for shipping these dangerous items. These include

  • FedEx
  • USPS
  • UPS
  • DHL

The major reason why you should entrust these couriers with the task of shipping lithium batteries by ground/sea/airplane is that they have trained personnel who understand how lithium batteries work and how to handle them safely. They also understand all the detailed regulations that must be complied with to ship these batteries.

What are the Requirements to Mail These Devices?

If you’re planning on shipping lithium batteries, there are certain regulations and requirements you’ll have to follow. Some of these include:

  • Lithium batteries weighing more than 35kgs must be approved by the national authority before shipment
  • Defective or damaged lithium batteries must not be transported
  • Batteries should be packaged to prevent short-circuiting while in transit
  • Waste lithium batteries meant for recycling shouldn’t be transported by air unless they’ve been approved by the national authority and airline
  • Any package bearing a lithium battery shipping label should also be marked as dangerous goods and have the necessary documentation
  • It may be necessary to use specialized packaging to ensure safety
How to Mail Lithium Batteries

Lithium Metal Batteries

These are batteries that use lithium as an anode. They have a long life and can produce anywhere between 1.5V-3.7V. However, not every courier accepts shipments containing lithium metal batteries. For example, DHL forbids the shipment of loose lithium metal batteries with its DHL Time Definite Service.

Lithium Ion Batteries

The main characteristic of lithium ion batteries is that they are rechargeable, and therefore, often used in portable consumer electronics. These are the batteries you can’t check in with your luggage on a flight. However, because products with these batteries are so prevalent, many couriers accept these batteries, as long as they’re packaged carefully. DHL Express is one such service that accepts lithium ion batteries.

10 Tips for Safely Sending Batteries By Mail

To make sure you’re staying safe, you should ensure that your shipments are in line with battery shipping regulations. Here are a few tips on how to ship lithium batteries safely:

  • Make sure that batteries and terminals are well protected to avoid short-circuiting
  • Cover terminals with insulating, non-conductive materials
  • Pack each battery in fully-enclosed interior packaging to protect the terminals
  • Don’t place heavy items on packed batteries
  • Keep batteries away from other metal objects that may cause short-circuiting
  • Avoid turning on devices with installed batteries while being shipped
  • Put protective covering on the switches of any device with these batteries to prevent accidental activation while in transit
  • Don’t store batteries in extreme heat
  • Ensure that batteries are not defective or placed incorrectly in devices
  • Pad the device in the package to avoid movement that might lead to accidental activation

Start Sending Your Battery-Operated Products Safely

If your retail business involves the distribution of products like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, medical devices, or other items that use lithium batteries, it’s important that you ensure your shipments adhere to shipping lithium batteries regulations. Easyship offers a range of courier solutions, many of which will be able to ship lithium batteries. Sign up for a free account today to start shipping with zero worries.