Shipping Batteries Overseas on DHL Express
Many electronics products and devices contain lithium batteries – commonly found in laptops, phones and medical devices. Like any other dangerous goods, shipping batteries requires extra documentation and packaging to ensure they travel safely.
If you’re unsure how to prepare your package for shipping lithium batteries overseas, it’s best to work with an experienced freight forwarder who has experience shipping this type of cargo. This will help you avoid the risk of your shipment being rejected by couriers.
Batteries are vital to our lives, powering everything from smartphones and tablets to electric vehicles we’ll all be driving someday. But these batteries are considered dangerous goods from a shipping perspective and require specialized packaging, labeling and storage – not to mention adherence to a long list of carrier and government regulations. Failure to comply can result in shipment rejection, financial penalties, and even blacklisting.
The specific regulations depend on the type of battery and how it’s packed. For example, lithium batteries classified as UN 3480 have their own packaging instructions and must be placed in specially designed boxes. There are also special markings and labels that must be applied to any package that contains lithium batteries. These labels inform anyone handling the cargo that the package is a hazardous good and what to do in case of an emergency.
You must also provide complete documentation with any shipment of lithium batteries. This includes the Shipper Declaration for Dangerous Goods form with the correct UN code, as well as a UN 38.3 test report and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). These documents verify the batteries’ compliance with shipping and safety regulations and offer important information on their physical and chemical properties. They can help you avoid supply chain disruption and protect your company from unnecessary liability.
In addition to specialized packaging and documentation, shipping batteries internationally requires adherence to strict government and carrier regulations. Those who don’t follow all the rules run the risk of supply chain delays, government fines and even high-liability accidents. That’s why it’s essential for 3PLs and freight forwarders to understand all the requirements involved with shipping lithium batteries – especially when they’re shipped separately from the equipment they power.
Depending on the watt-hour rating of lithium ion batteries and cells, or the lithium metal content (LMC) of lithium metal batteries, packaging requirements may vary. Generally speaking, packaging must be constructed of nonconductive materials that are strong sending lithium batteries overseas enough to withstand the vibrations and mechanical handling that can occur in transport. Moreover, the outer layer of packaging must prevent the battery from contacting other batteries or metallic components in the package.
The number of batteries that can be shipped in a single package also varies based on your region and the mode of transportation. For example, some countries have restrictions on the number of lithium batteries that can be shipped via air. Additionally, power banks that are used to charge smartphones must not be sent by air if they contain lithium batteries.
Many electronic devices – from cameras to smartwatches, mobile phones and the electric cars we’ll all be driving someday – use batteries. But those batteries are considered dangerous goods from a shipping perspective and require specialized packaging and labeling, along with compliance with a long list of government and carrier regulations. And not all 3PLs and freight forwarders have the expertise required to ship lithium batteries and EV batteries — especially overseas.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things your factories can do to avoid the potential risks associated with cross-border shipment of these products and make sure their batteries arrive in their destination in good condition. These include the following:
Choose sturdy outer packaging materials that can’t be crushed. For example, boxes or containers with a rigid material like corrugated cardboard. Also, be sure that the box or container is marked with a UN number (a four-digit identification code that identifies dangerous goods) and a description of the contents, as well as the hazard class and package group if applicable.
If your battery shipments will be transported by air, you’ll also need to include a warning label sending lithium batteries overseas that includes the DOT guidelines for shipping lithium batteries by air. These are generally more stringent than those for ocean and train transport. They often specify packaging quantities and the recommended state of charge for your batteries.
Aside from lithium batteries, other battery types can also be shipped on DHL Express. These include dry cell batteries, nickel cadmium, alkali-manganese and zinc-carbon batteries. However, they need to undergo the same tests as lithium batteries to be considered safe for air and sea transport. The test results must be in compliance with the prevailing UN standards for shipping dangerous goods (UN38.3) and they must pass the 1.2m free dropping test.
Lithium batteries have become a vital component of our everyday life. They power laptops, mobile phones, cordless tools and more. They are also gaining in popularity for their energy density, which means more and more higher-powered devices are coming to market. This has prompted regulators to increase the standards and regulations for shipping them, especially in air freight.
Because they are considered dangerous goods from a shipping standpoint, they require specialized packaging and labeling – plus adherence to a lengthy list of government and carrier requirements. If you’re thinking about shipping them, it’s best to go with a 3PL or freight forwarder who has experience doing so – otherwise you could risk rejection by carriers and delays in your supply chain. To avoid this, choose a provider like Airsupply that has extensive expertise in shipping lithium and other dangerous goods. They can help you prepare customs declarations, commercial invoices and bills of lading to ensure your shipments meet all the requirements for their destination countries.