Shipping lithium batteries, a critical component in modern electronics, underwent significant changes in 2023 to address safety concerns and regulatory compliance. Lithium batteries, known for their high energy density, are categorized into two types: lithium-ion (rechargeable) and lithium metal (non-rechargeable). Both types pose risks during transportation, primarily due to their susceptibility to overheating, which can lead to fires or explosions.
In 2023, new regulations were introduced to enhance the safety of battery transport. These changes primarily focused on packaging, labeling, documentation, and carrier requirements.
One of the unique aspects of shipping lithium batteries is the stringent packaging standards. Batteries must be packed in a way that prevents short circuits and damage. This often involves using non-conductive materials and sturdy outer packaging. Additionally, packages must be clearly labeled with specific lithium battery markings and handling instructions, ensuring that carriers and handlers are aware of the contents and potential hazards.
Another unique aspect is the documentation requirement. Shippers must provide detailed information about the batteries, including type, quantity, and safety measures. This documentation is crucial for emergency responders in case of an incident during transit.
Carrier restrictions also changed in 2023. Certain airlines and shipping companies have imposed stricter rules or even bans on battery transport, especially in large quantities or as cargo on passenger flights. This has led to a reliance on specialized freight carriers and increased shipping costs.