Shipping Lithium Batteries by Ground and Air


Lithium batteries are the hottest topic in hazmat transportation today and the Federal Aviation Administration is aggressively enforcing penalties against employers who incorrectly offer them for transport (up to $75,000.00 per violation).

And unfortunately, the shipping regulations are convoluted and confusing, in part due to the number of variables which affect their proper preparation, including:  

  1.  Mode of transport (air vs, ground);
  2.  Type of battery (Li-Ion vs. Li-Metal);
  3.  Size of battery (based upon net weight of lithium or watt-hour rating);
  4.  Packaging configuration (packed alone, with equipment, or contained in equipment);
  5.  Destination (export vs. domestic); and
  6.  Transporter used (FedEx vs. UPS vs. freight forwarder)

To make matters worse, since their inception, the regulations have been continually changing.  As recently as April 1, 2016, sweeping new revisions have gone into effect which include restricting lithium ion batteries from passenger flights and limiting their “State of Charge” (SoC), limits on the number of packages of lithium batteries per consignment, increased applicability of the cargo air only label, and a restriction on offering other goods with lithium batteries.

This course is specifically designed for offerors of both lithium ion and lithium metal batteries of all sizes and configurations.  It incorporates both DOT and ICAO/IATA requirements in addition to variations imposed by United Parcel Service and Federal Express.

Topics will include:

  • The dangers inherent in lithium battery design and characteristics;
  • The history of aviation incidents that lead to their inclusion as dangerous goods;
  • Classification of batteries by type and size
  • Proof of quality assurance from manufacturers (testing and quality mgmt. programs)
  • General requirements for all battery types and sizes
  • Shipping description selection criteria
  • Explanation of the IATA packing instruction, Sections I and II and 49 CFR 173.185
  • Explanation of the 49 CFR and IATA DGR requirements for specific examples
  • UPS and FedEx approval requirements
  • Procedures for offering waste, damaged/defective, and prototype batteries; and
  • April 1, 2016 revisions/ regulatory update

Full Breakfast Included

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